President Trump said Friday he was just clowning around when he thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for booting U.S. diplomats from his country.
“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 Thursday from his vacation spot in Bedminster, N.J.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told NBC Trump was just being sarcastic, which the President confirmed to reporters at Bedminster Friday.
“Absolutely. I think you know that,” he said.
Trump wants to thank’ Putin for cutting diplomat staff
Russia announced late last month that it was cutting down the number of staff that can serve at the U.S. Embassy and other American stations across the country.
The move came after Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation slapping with Russia with additional sanctions for trying to interfere with the election, something Trump had been hesitant to do.
Trump said Friday his administration is “coming up with a response” to Moscow’s move and will have one ready by Sept. 1.
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