Trump thanks Putin for expelling US diplomats

Fri 11 August 2017 07:30 GMT | 11:30 Local Time

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US President Donald Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling American diplomats from Russia on the grounds that "we’re going to save a lot of money".

"I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in New Jersey, according to a pool report.

"There’s no real reason for them to go back.  Greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money," Politico cited him as saying.

Russia recently announced that it would expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats from its soil to retaliate for sanctions the U.S. put on the Kremlin. Russia has demanded it keep no more than 455 people in its diplomatic missions there. But many, if not most, of the positions cut will likely be those of locally hired Russian staffers. 

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