Brushing off Putin, Trump Says Fewer Diplomats Saves Money

President Donald Trump brushed off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomatic employees from Russia, instead thanking Putin and insisting it will save the U.S. significant cash.

In remarks to reporters Thursday, Trump dismissed Putin’s move, saying it would “cut down our payroll” at the State Department.

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on payroll,” Trump said, adding: “As far as I am concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There’s no real reason for them to go back. So, I greatly appreciate the fact that they’ve been able to cut our payroll for the United States. We’ll save a lot of money.”

It was unclear whether the president was joking at all in his remarks, which were made following a security briefing held during an extended

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