“We’re going to look for opportunities to do that, but we’re also going to make sure that we make decisions that are best for our country,” Sanders said.
The Trump administration has struggled at times to send a consistent message to the Kremlin. Some White House aides appeared to support #Russia’s desire to have sanctions lifted early in the administration, but Trump ended up signing legislation in July slapping new punitive sanctions on Russia over election meddling. The State Department expressed disappointment when Russia expelled U.S. diplomats, but Trump made light of the situation, thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin “because we’re trying to cut down on payroll.”
The diplomatic reprisals underscore the continued deterioration of relations between the nuclear-armed nations, with more acts of payback likely to come. And they appear to place President Trump’s hopes for closer ties with Russia further out of reach.
Last month, Russia demanded that the U.S. diplomatic presence there be reduced by hundreds of people. In retaliation, the State Department has ordered the Russian government to close its consulate general in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City. These closures must be complete by Saturday.
The Trump administration has ordered three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States closed following the expulsion of American diplomats from Russia, the State Department said Thursday.