April 2, 2018

Remember when Donald Trump appeared to actually be showing some unity with our European allies and exerting some strength against Russia in response to the brutal poisoning that occurred in Britain? It was shocking, right? He came out and said that the United States would expel 60 Russian diplomats within 7 days?

Well, it looks like there may be more to the story than appears. Yes, Donald Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats. But, the U.S. will not "require" Russia to reduce the number of it's staff at it's Washington embassy. What does that mean? They can just send over 60 more Russians. Bing bang boom. No change in the number of diplomats (aka spies).

This is more commonly called "targeted expulsion" which is not that rare. Kick out the current crew, make a big show of it. The short deadline. The caravan of diplomats and their families, suitcases in tow, boarding the airplane. Yay, America!

Russia doesn't seem too worried. Business Insider reports] that Russian state media reported that an "anonymous senior White House staffer told the Russian government that it could send new diplomats to take the place of those who had been expelled. The Russian state media outlet Vesti quoted the official as saying: The doors are open."

So Russia is just laughing at us. Again. Oh, and to make Trump look even better, Putin responded in kind by expelling 60 U.S. diplomats. Surely none of this was discussed in the unexpected "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" phone call that Trump had with Putin on March 20th, right?

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