Trump's Thank You to Putin Baffles, Infuriates Diplomatic Corps

After Congress passed a bill last month imposing tough sanctions on Russia for its role meddling in the 2016 election, Vladimir Putin announced Russia would retaliate by expelling 755 U.S. diplomats from their country.

While at his Bedminster, N.J. golf club on Thursday, Donald Trump was asked about Russia's move, and gave the following response:


“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and 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.”

Besides the fact that Trump falsely presumes that the diplomats who are expelled from Russia will not continue to work for the State Department, it also stunned an already frustrated diplomatic corps. As one senior diplomat serving overseas put it:

"This is so incredibly demoralizing and disrespectful to people serving their country in harm's way."

One State Department official told POLITICO: "Everyone seems pretty amazed. This statement is naive and shortsighted. It sends a terrible signal to local employees everywhere."

Another State Department official expressed outrage: "THANK Putin? I don't have words that are printable to describe my reaction."

Others expressed their disbelief and offered support for our diplomats on Twitter.

The White House has not yet responded to the criticism.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Donald Trump took the opportunity to hype his pet project—bollard fencing along the southern border—to a meeting of the National Border Patrol Council.

The NBPC—a union organization not part of the federal agency—is "the exclusive representative of approximately 18,000 Border Patrol Agents and support personnel assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol."

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Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb // Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Veteran actor and Democrat Alec Baldwin's portrayal of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live has garnered near-unanimous praise since the 2016 campaign (except, of course, from Trump himself).

But in a recent tweet, Baldwin reminded his followers that Trump's ascent and increasing corruption is no laughing matter.

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Fox Business

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and one of the key players in the Ukraine scandal, Rudy Giuliani, is once again claiming to have proof of a Democratic scandal in Ukraine.

Once again, he's refusing to reveal it.

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Fox Business

Attorney General William Barr criticized President Donald Trump's tweets about Justice Department prosecutors' sentencing recommendation for Trump ally Roger Stone.

Barr—who overrode the recommendation after Trump railed against it on Twitter—said Trump's tweets made it impossible to do his job, though some people believe his words weren't to rein in Trump, but to mitigate public outrage.

Fox Host Lou Dobbs is not one of those people.

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Americans across the country were furious when President Donald Trump fired Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman after Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial by the Republican Senate.

Vindman complied with a congressional subpoena to testify before the House committee overseeing Trump's impeachment inquiry last year.

The career military official and Purple Heart recipient was escorted out by security along with his twin brother, an NSC official who played no part in the impeachment proceedings.

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ABC News

People cried foul earlier this week when the Justice Department overrode four career prosecutors to recommend a reduced sentence for former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone.

The Department's decision came only a day after Trump railed against the prosecutors' recommendation on Twitter, leading many to believe the Department reduced the sentence recommendation because the President interceded on his ally's behalf.

All four prosecutors on the case resigned in response to the change.

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