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Trump just thanked Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats

Responding to a new sanctions package passed overwhelmingly by Congress late last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin retaliated against the U.S. by expelling hundreds of American diplomatic employees from Russia. The U.S. diplomatic mission was instructed to cut 755 employees, a retaliatory move Putin himself said was "biting."

Days after Putin's announcement, the State Department's response was mild, calling the act "regrettable and uncalled-for" but declining to specify an immediate response. But speaking from his New Jersey golf club on Thursday, President Trump went a step further and expressed his gratitude for Putin's decision.

"I want to thank him, because we're trying to cut down on payroll," Trump quipped. "I greatly appreciate the fact that they've been able to cut our payroll for the United States. We'll save a lot of money."

Watch it below. Kimberly Alters