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Trump Expels 60 Russian Diplomats, Shuts Down Seattle Consulate

03-26-2018
Trump Putin
Trump Putin

President Donald Trump is taking aim at Russia once again.

The president has ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, as well as the closure of the Seattle consulate in response to the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

Since the attack, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, remain in a coma.

Ten European countries have also banded together to expel Russian diplomats in their areas.

European Union leaders have said that there is "no plausible alternative explanation" other than Russia being behind the poisoning of the ex-spy and his daughter.

The expelled Russians will have seven days to leave the US.

The move was one of the most significant actions the Trump administration has taken to date to push back on Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Less than a week ago, Trump congratulated Putin by phone for his re-election but didn't mention the spy case.

However, earlier this month, President Trump said that Russia was likely behind the recent nerve agent attack.

"It looks like the Russians were behind it, something that should never ever happen. We're taking it very seriously as I think are many others," President Trump said.

The expulsion also follows the Treasury Department's new round of sanctions against Russian persons believed to have meddled in the 2016 presidential election and engaged in cyberattacks.

A senior US official said that the consulate closure and the expulsions would be carried out "in solidarity with our closest allies" in reaction to what he said was "a reckless attempt by the Russian government to murder a British citizen and his daughter with a military grade nerve agent."

Moscow has denied responsibility for the attack and has retaliated against Britain's move to expel 23 Russians by ordering out the same number of Britons.

It's not yet known what actions Putin will take against the United States.

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