The move, ordered by Putin, was meant to be a punishment for tough new USA financial sanctions against Russian Federation.
President Putin ordered 755 U.S. diplomats to leave the country after Congress passed the sanctions bill. Flake believes his party is in "denial" about President Trump, whose executive branch is "in chaos" and who has "a seeming affection for strong men and authoritarians".
The only official US response to Putin's act was a perfunctory State Department statement saying the expulsion was "regrettable and uncalled for". He has had the same press secretary for the past nine years and his de facto director of communications has worked for him since he became president 17 years ago. The Kremlin said after the most recent sanctions that Trump was "powerless" before a Congress that passed the new measures nearly unanimously.
It's important to understand that Putin doesn't care if Trump wins his fights with Congress and the courts.
At home, Trump repeatedly trashes the USA intelligence community, the judges and prosecutors who challenge him and the American journalists who expose his lies and tell the truth about him. "In fact, the opposite", Trump said.
Putin hit back at the US after Trump signed a Russian Federation sanctions bill even though he called parts unconstitutional. More likely, Putin has knowledge of Trump's business relationships, some legal and others either illegal or seriously compromising to America's security interests, with Russian oligarchs and/or banks.
In May, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Putin has tried to establish a personal rapport with Trump, and, according to analysts, wants to preserve that in case it becomes useful later.
While Trump absurdly claimed Thursday that perhaps his reckless threat of "fire and fury" against North Korea "wasn't tough enough" - something no one believes - his gratitude to Russian Federation certainly is not tough enough.
Nicholas Burns, formerly the State Department's third-ranking official, called Trump's comments "grotesque". Representatives of both countries mentioned Tillerson's statement in casting their votes, with China's representative saying, "Our hope is that the United States will translate these "four no's" into a firm policy". Russian Federation is expelling diplomats and seizing USA diplomatic properties.
"It is a complex logistical matter, moving people out to reach the limit imposed by the Russian government", Sullivan said.
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