President Donald Trump has yet to publicly address the expulsion of 60 U.S. diplomats from Russia, Moscow’s response to a similar move by the U.S. earlier this week.
On Monday, in response to the nerve attack in England that killed a British spy, Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and closed a base in Washington state.
Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an identical number of American diplomats to leave Russia, and the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg to be shuttered.
The only response from the White House was a tepid statement saying the move was expected.
“Russia’s response was not unanticipated and the United States will deal with it.”
Trump did not address it in a speech on Thursday, nor has he brought up the matter on Twitter. Last week, Trump caused an uproar when he congratulated Putin on his election win, against the wishes of his national security advisers.
In a similar situation in August, after Russia ordered the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff in Moscow by over 700 people, Trump thanked Putin.
“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on 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.”