Trump was 'sarcastic' in thanking Putin for expelling diplomats: White House official

Trump was 'sarcastic' in thanking Putin for expelling diplomats: White House official
  1. Trump was 'sarcastic' in thanking Putin for expelling diplomats: White House official
    The president suggested that the move will save the U.S.…

President Donald Trump's expression of gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of U.S. diplomatic employees from Russia was "sarcastic," a senior White House official told ABC News Friday.

Trump, who claimed the action taken by Putin was financially advantageous to the U.S., made the comment while taking questions from reporters Thursday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“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,” said Trump, who made no indication that the sentiment was insincere or meant to be perceived as in jest.

Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered the reduction in response to new sanctions against Russia that Trump signed into law earlier this month.

Key moments from Trump's comments to reporters Russia tells US to cut diplomats or face expulsion A look at the Russian compounds nestled in New York suburb and small Maryland town

On July 28, the U.S. ambassador to Russia expressed "strong disappointment and protest" to Russia after it seized two American facilities and called on the U.S. to remove some of its personnel or face expulsion from the country.

“We have received the Russian government notification. A…

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