What’s an appropriate response when Russia orders us to fire 755 U.S. diplomats and embassy staff in Russia? Definitely not what the GOP’s president came up with.
A reporter asked that very question during a national security briefing on Thursday at Donald Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Based on the video clip NBC tweeted out, the answer likely floored him.
“I want to thank him,” our Tweeter-in-Chief cheerfully declared, “because we’re trying to cut back on the payroll.” That’s right. Our relationship with Russia is more frayed than it’s ever been, and all Donald Trump cares about it saving money.
He then went on about how grateful he is to Vladimir Putin for helping him find these great savings.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m really thankful to let go of a large number of people because we have a smaller payroll”
Who needs diplomats and staff? He adds, there’s “no real reason” for U.S. Embassy staff to be in Russia since all Donald Trump needs to conduct U.S. diplomacy is his cell phone and his Twitter account.
“There’s no real reason for them to go back. So I gratefully appreciate the fact that they’ve been able to cut our payroll in the United States. We’ll save a lot of money.”
Here’s the video, with a furious tweet from Scott Dworkin, an A.M. Joy contributor and co-Founder of the Democratic Coalition.
TRAITOR: Trump on Putin ordering embassy to cut staff: “I want to thank him cuz we’re trying to cut down on payroll" pic.twitter.com/3ZNaj4yIxy
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 10, 2017
Donald Trump’s and Vladimir Putin’s bromance started going stale after July 25. That’s when the House passed a sanctions bill in a stunning 419-3 vote, followed by the Senate passing it with only two people voting nay. House Foreign Affairs chair Ed Royce (R-Calif.) told CNN, “This is a strong, bipartisan bill that will increase the United States’ economic and political leverage.”
After he grudgingly signed the bill — likely to avoid the public shame of having his veto overridden — Russian President Vladimir Putin seized two of our properties, then ordered us to fire 755 people from the U.S. embassy and consulate staff by Sept. 1. Reuters notes this is more than half of our 1,200 employees, though many are likely Russians sourced locally.
Featured image: Video screen grab | NBC News via Twitter.