Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trump thanks Putin for ordering USA diplomatic staff be cut — BBCI

Trump thanks Putin for ordering USA diplomatic staff be cut — BBCI

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for slashing the number of U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia, "because now we have a smaller payroll".

Many employees are believed to be "local hires", meaning it is likely far less than 755 people will actually have to leave the country.

Trump said that he wanted to thank Russian President Vladimir Putin for ousting hundreds of United States embassy employees "because we're trying to cut down our payroll", according to USA press pool.

"There's no real reason for them to go back", Trump said.

"I want to thank (Putin) because we're trying to cut down our payroll", Trump said. "We'll save a lot of money". The sanctions against Russian Federation were prompted by the USA intelligence community's conclusion that the Kremlin sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and sway the race in Trump's favor.

Last month, United States lawmakers passed a law toughening sanctions imposed on Russian Federation for corruption, rights abuses, subversion of Western politics and backing Ukrainian separatists.

Trump begrudgingly signed a sanctions bill earlier this month that levied new sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has embarked on a wholesale review of State Department operations aimed at cutting costs and refocusing on new objectives.

He said they had to leave by 1 September, bringing staff levels to 455, the same as Russia's complement in Washington.

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