Trump thanks Putin for cutting U.S. embassy staff

President Trump on Thursday expressed gratitude for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to tell the U.S. to cut its embassy staff by hundreds of people in response to new sanctions passed overwhelmingly by Congress late last month. “I want to thank him, because we’re trying to cut down on payroll,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “We’ll save a lot of money.” The U.S. diplomatic mission was instructed to cut 755 employees, nearly a 60 percent reduction from the current level. It was not immediately clear whether Trump was joking, but critics said Trump was wrong to suggest the cuts would not damage the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia. “This is insulting to US diplomats,” Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) tweeted.

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