True to his promise to be unpredictable, Donald Trump had an unpredictable reaction to Russia’s decision to expel 755 of approximately 1,200 U.S. diplomatic staff in retaliation for the passage of the new Russia sanctions bill. In response to the largest expulsion of diplomats in modern times, President Trump did something that he rarely does: He publicly thanked Vladimir Putin for his help in reducing the State Department payroll.

Russia ordered the U.S. to reduce the number of its diplomats in Russia to 455, the same number of Russian diplomats in the U.S. after President Obama expelled 35 in retaliation for Russian meddling in the election. In a statement, Russia said that the new sanctions showed “the extreme aggression of the United States in international affairs.”

In an example of “golf course diplomacy” from his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. where he is on a “working vacation,” President Trump told reporters, “I want to thank him [Putin] 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. There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that…

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