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State Dept. Amazed by Trump Thanking Putin for Expelling US Diplomats - Reports

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonThe seal of the US Department of State
The seal of the US Department of State - Sputnik International
The US Department of State officials are infuriated by US President Donald Trump's "shortsighted" remarks about Russia's expulsion of US diplomats, in which he said he was grateful to the Russian leader for helping Washington save money, local media said Friday citing anonymous sources.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Trump expressed his gratitude toward Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling 755 US diplomats from Russia, since the decision would help the US government save money in the salary budget.

"I kid you not, I have heard from three different people in the last five minutes. Everyone seems pretty amazed. This statement is naive and shortsighted. It sends a terrible signal to local employees everywhere," one State Department official told Politico outlet shortly after Trump's comments.

Another diplomat described the remarks as "demoralizing and disrespectful," according to the news outlet.

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg - Sputnik International
Trump Thanks Putin For Kicking US Embassy Staff Out of Moscow
In December 2016, then US President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and banned Russia from accessing two of its diplomatic compounds. The decision came as a response to Russia’s alleged interference in the US election, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

In late July, Moscow announced that the diplomatic presence of the United States in Russia would be cut by 755 people to 455, the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia currently has in the United States. The Kremlin said it was a response to the 2016 ouster of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctions passed by the US Congress in July.

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