President Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday for ordering the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff by 755 people, his first public comments on the extraordinary move by Moscow in response to new sanctions legislation that Trump signed into law.
Trump said he was thanking Putin because the decision allows the U.S. government to “cut down our payroll.”
“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,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J. golf club.
“There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States,” he continued. “We’re going to save a lot of money.”