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Putin says Russia won’t expel diplomats; Trump offers praise

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at a Dec. 26 meeting in St.Petersburg, Russia. President Vladimir Putin said, today, that Russia will not be expelling U.S. diplomats in response to a new round of U.S. sanctions.

MOSCOW >> President Vladimir Putin castigated the United States today for trying to punish Russia but said his country will not immediately retaliate and instead will wait for a new U.S. approach by Donald Trump. The president-elect praised Putin’s move and called him “very smart.”

Putin said no U.S. diplomats will be ousted in retaliation for President Barack Obama’s decision to impose sanctions and expel Russian diplomats over allegations of Russian meddling in the American presidential election. The Russian leader said he reserves the right to hit back in the future, but suggested it will be unnecessary because he expects to work with Trump’s administration to improve U.S.-Russia ties.

Still, Putin called Obama’s move a “provocation aimed at further undermining Russian-American relations” less than a month before Trump takes office. In addition to sanctions targeting Russian spy agencies, the U.S. kicked 35 Russian diplomats out of the U.S. and said they were spies.

Trump’s reaction, as it often does, came via Twitter. “Great move on delay (by V. Putin),” Trump tweeted. “I always knew he was very smart!”

He pinned the tweet to the top of his Twitter page so that it would remain there prominently and indefinitely even after other tweets are sent.

The move by the incoming president to side with a foreign adversary over the sitting president was a dramatic departure from typical diplomatic practice, further fueling the burgeoning controversy over what the Obama administration says was a cyberattack against America’s political system.

Putin’s decision to hold off on retaliation came as a surprise; tit-for-tat expulsions are common practice, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had suggested hours before that Russia would oust 31 American diplomats.

“The Russian diplomats returning home will spend the New Year holidays with their relatives and dear ones,” Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin website. “We will not create problems for U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anybody.”

He added: “Moreover, I am inviting all children of U.S. diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas parties at the Kremlin.”

New Year’s Eve has been the main holiday in Russia since Soviet times. Russians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.

Putin appeared to aim at playing a long game and made a barbed reminder that Obama is a lame duck.

Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, called the response “a different kind of tit-for-tat” in a tweet: “Even as Obama seeks to constrain Trump in his Russia policy, Putin counters that step with a show of magnanimity.”

The diplomatic confrontation between Washington and Moscow, which had been festering even before Trump won the Nov. 8 presidential election, puts pressure on the billionaire businessman not to let Russia off the hook after he takes office on Jan. 20.

Russia’s government had threatened retaliation, and it continues to deny U.S. accusations that it hacked and stole emails to try to help Trump win.

Trump said the U.S. should move on, but in a sign he was no longer totally brushing off the allegations, he said he plans to meet with U.S. intelligence leaders next week to learn more.

Obama’s sanctions targeted the GRU and FSB, the Russian intelligence agencies the U.S. said were involved in the hacking attacks. In an elaborately coordinated response by at least five federal agencies, the Obama administration also sought to expose Russia’s cyber tactics with a detailed technical report and hinted it might still launch a covert counterattack.

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” said Obama, who was vacationing in Hawaii.

Yet the sanctions could easily be pulled back by Trump, who has insisted that Obama and Democrats are merely attempting to delegitimize his election.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev charged earlier today that Washington has become immersed in “anti-Russian death throes.”

Medvedev, who focused on improving U.S.-Russia ties when he was president from 2008-2012, called the latest diplomatic breach “sad” in a Twitter post.

U.S. relations with Russia have suffered during Obama’s presidency as he and Putin tussled over Ukraine, Edward Snowden and Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad. Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, took to Facebook to call the Obama administration “a group of foreign policy losers, angry and ignorant.”

As part of the punishment leveled against Moscow, the U.S. kicked out 35 Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s harassment of U.S. diplomats. Russian recreational compounds in New York and Maryland that U.S. officials said were being used for intelligence were also shut down.

It was the strongest action the Obama administration has taken in response to an alleged cyberattack, and it was more comprehensive than last year’s sanctions on North Korea after the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The new penalties add to existing U.S. sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Senior Obama administration officials said that even with the penalties, the U.S. had reason to believe Russia would hack other nations’ elections and might well try to hack American elections in 2018 or 2020. The officials briefed reporters on a conference call on condition of anonymity.

Though the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a joint report on “Russian malicious cyber activity” the government still has not released a broader report Obama has promised detailing Russia’s efforts to interfere with U.S. elections.

The report has been eagerly anticipated by those hoping to make it politically untenable for Trump to continue questioning whether Russia was really involved.

Associated Press writers Tami Abdollah in Washington, Jill Colvin in Palm Beach, Florida, and Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this story.

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  • Intelligent leaders know when to retaliate…when to negotiate…compromise.
    Immature dysfunctional rudderless small narrow minded “leaders” retaliate when they know they have no hope of any kind of a positive legacy to leave behind.

    January 20, 2017 #MAGA will take back America!

    • “All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” said Obama…”
      And his first reaction was “cut it out.” Yes, quite an alarming.
      I can hear the audio loop at his library now…”You can keep your plan…before we cut it out…”

      • Obama expelled KGB operatives. Most of us call them spies. With Donald Trump under the thumb of Putin I can see why his supporters are upset. Don’t worry Trump will let those Russian spies back into America when he becomes President.

        • If Mr. Putin keeps Mr. Trump under his spell by repeating that Mr. Trump is smart or handsome, Russia will do just fine, thanks.

          Trump is a psychotic.

        • Clever move by Putin knowing that the dunce Trump, who is anxious to serve Israeli and Russian interests, will soon be President. All very concerning for the next 4 years.

        • Would that be the same spies that helped the United States win World War 2? It’ seems we might be better off being friends instead of enemys.

        • Maybe so but why are Trump supporters unhappy about Russian spies being thrown out of the country? Are Trump supporters like Trump more loyal to Russia than America?

        • IRT Rite80: Hmmm…When they praise Putin, one has to wonder…Their America first attitude wavers a little depending on who the rally is supposed to be around…#MAGA

        • We need to also mention that this is perfectly appropriate for Russia’s punishment. Trump needs to show more respect for our intelligence agencies.

        • The Chump and his White House mafia are business partners first with Putin. Everything else doesn’t matter. The Chumpsters have no idea what they created when they handed Chump the presidency. He feeds off attention and praise. All one has to do is feed insatiable ego and he is like a dog in continuous heat.

    • after 8 years at the helm of America only now does Barry retaliate against Russia who politicians say does not have the same ideals as the US. They are our enemies etc. The way I see it Barry feels so at ease doing this in his last days in office and not having to deal with Russia and consequences.

      Barry draws the line with Russia and not having to deal with them when they cross the line! Barry is a JOKE!

        • There is only one President at a time. That is something that neither Mr. Trump nor you seem to understand.

          Mr. Trump is obviously mentally ill. He is not the President, and cannot make that so with Twitter before January 20th.

        • so praytell, What did Obama do when Russia invaded part of Crimea? The Russian Operatives were still in Armerica prior the the hacks? Are the Russians still in Crimea? How’s the Russians doing in the Ukraine Region? Where was Barry with all of this happening?

      • @ Pocho
        Agree!
        O is showing the IMMATURITY of a FAILED presidency. Grasping for ANYTHING to try and make a LEGACY for himself. O is a TOTAL FAIL who is going out the door and cementing it at the same time.
        Liberal Historians will have a difficult time trying to spew & spin the WORST potus/flotus in American history into a good light!

        January 20, 2017 #MAGA Can’t come soon enough.

      • No the joke are republicans who complain about Obama but have never offered anything better. Well guess what? now you have to perform. We shall see if the country continues to improve like it has under Obama or if it will soon fall into a black economic hole. I have started to take steps to protect against an economic black hole which is sure to develop within the next few years. Hopefully they will be enough.

        • I am worried that the full black hole may come back, but this time there is no easy fix.

          Last time it was printing money, in a way that has never been done before.
          I read that we got away with it because we are the world’s reserve currency.
          It was also done on the backs of those with savings, when the interest rates were set to almost zero.
          But perhaps there is a limit to how long this can go on, like eating your seed corn.

          We seem to be back in the real estate bubble.
          If it bursts again, maybe along with other bubbles, what will we do?
          Can we pull off even more money printing?

          Some think that the only hope is to grow the economy with good paying jobs, and they see Trump as our only hope for this reason.

        • Cricket, I agree if we fall into another economic black hole there will not be an easy fix especially with republicans running things. The best way to get out of an economic black hole is for the government to go into deficit spending to stimulate the economy. This spending should be for something constructive as opposed to just wasteful spending. Hard to do especially when republicans are in control

          Easy to say grow the economy with good paying jobs but where do these jobs come from? Fact is good paying jobs will become fewer and fewer as industry continues with increased productivity which leads to the need of fewer workers. There is no easy solution even though the Donald says there is.

        • http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/18/heres-proof-that-the-economic-recovery-is-over-commentary.html
          bootie, once one looks beyond the obvious, other truths begin to emerge. Obama is not to be credited with the so called “recovery”, just as he shouldn’t be blamed for the conclusions this article reaches.
          We are indeed in for an economic downturn, and this time around it will be even more difficult to “buy” our way out. Congress did it already over the tea party’s objections, and have maxed out the credit cards. Can kicking eventually results in a can too big to kick.
          Reminiscent of those heady days just before the housing bubble blew, when so many indicators were there but so few were paying any attention..

        • @Boots –

          “We shall see if the country continues to improve like it has under Obama”

          Can you please explain exactly what has improved in this country under Obama?

        • You want direct military conflict with Russia? That is unhinged!

          You do know that Trump wants to be best buddies with Putin?

      • Pocho darling…. Obama has been banging away at Russia for many years now. They have been under heavy sanctions that are ruining their economy.

        Hasn’t Obama got big enough hands for you?

        Russians will be very glad when Russia leaves. Trump will do away with the sanctions and be nice nice to them. For them, it is worthwhile interfering in our elections.

      • PoCho the jokes on you, believing all the lies and fake news spewed out by the likes of Fox News, owned and controlled by Rupert Murdoch, and Breitbart News, controlled by Steve Bannon, now Trump’s Chief Adviser, as well as a Alt-Wrong extremist fascist media outlet

    • lol, stock market is now close to 20,000 instead of being under 7000. We shall see if the Donald can raise it to 22000 or more during his first years in office. If on the other hand the stock market falls, I hope you will have the common sense to admit that you made a boo boo in supporting such a clown.

      As for retaliating against Russia, I tend to agree that this is way over blown as I believe there was no hacking involved, just leaks. Never been one to favor classified information and if this information is released either by leaks or hacks, then the gov. should have dealt with it to begin with and not just classify it. Keeping the public in the dark should never be an option.

      • @ boots
        Actually the boo boo is on you for placing the Stock Market as your priority #1. Money is you best friend. Sad. You don’t have the common sense to realize you can’t take it with you.
        I don’t have to answer to someone like you..you’re not on any of my lists…oh except one.

        My priority #1 is the health of my family.

        January 20, 2017 #MAGA

        • Good luck in maintaining the health of your family without money. While the stock market is a priority, I see it as an indicator as how well the country is doing and will be doing. That is why I prefer a rising stock market to a declining market.

          With the republicans in control, it will be a lot harder to take care of the health of your family. Obama care while far from perfect was an improvement over the old system of health care which relied upon health fairs a lot. Republicans have yet to offer anything of substance. Well now they will have to. Just remember Obama care was a republican invention.

        • @ BOOTS
          Good luck with your health..hope nothing goes wrong with you…and don’t forget to take the money with you.

        • The economy is starting to erode again. Housing starts are decreasing, interest rates are rising, oil prices are increasing, manufacturing output decreasing, job hiring decreasing, unemployment rate going upward again. The Dow at 20,000 is at a peak, and from here on in to the Trump reign, the Dow and the rest of the market will retreat a lot more. Trump wants to have a trade war with China by imposing tariff on goods made in China. General Motors sell more cars to the Chinese than are sold in the USA. If China puts tariffs on those GM cars, there will be a lot of GM people out of work.

        • @ Vector
          So says you. I’ll wait & see but I do have HOPE…something O promised you guys and what did America and you end up with?
          I am one of the 72% of Americans who are feeling hopeful about 2017.
          Lots of room on the TRUMP TRAIN!

          January 20, 2017 #MAGA

    • An intelligent leader knows that there is no prospect of Comrade Trump retaliating against Russian interference in the US election. I suspect we will soon know the true meaning of rudderless though.

      • Fullbirdkernel: WE already know the true meaning of rudderless under the presidency of “Not-my-fault, “If-they-only-cooperate-with-my-game-plan”, “All-they-have-to-do-is-accept-my-conditions”, “If-they-would-only-agree-with-me” OBAMA, then we could sail this ship”……Obama just passing the buck. Trump is literally nearer to a Truman than Obama will ever be. “The Buck stops here…”

      • “I just enjoyed Putin’s response by poking Hawaii born President Obama in the eye.”

        It is sad that American politics have become so partisan that people will celebrate a tyrannical Russian dictator over their own president.

        You do realise that Putin’s has responded the way he has because he expects much more favourable treatment when his man is in the White House?

        • How do you deal with WORLD AFFAIRS when you have a kid in the WH?
          Partisan politics is like the oldest profession…it ain’t going away.

          Everyone knows the relationship with Russia & USA is not the smoothest partnership one would desire…but what if PE Trump can work out somewhat of a relationship with Putin..like together getting rid of ISIS, working for a smoother relationship with China, NK, ME etc…would that be bad?

        • Keonigohan – What you are saying is that you want to appease Putin. Any ground you cede to Putin will only encourage him to take more. This is a man who murders and imprisons political rivals and nosey journalists. This is a man who refuses to acknowledge that the soldiers he illegally sent into Ukraine shot down a passenger airliner. Putin needs to be isolated and contained, not unleashed.

        • @ Fullbirdkernel
          APPEASE? who said anything about appease? What did I say we giving up? Read my post again!

          And Obama & Castro? Who was Castro…a good Samaritan?

        • I never heard Obama praise Castro. Relations with Cuba are being slowly normalized because they are not stirring up trouble in the US.

          Of course we want to improve relations with Russia, but they need to modify their behavior first. Trump has given every indication that he would rather emulate Putin then punish him.

    • Keonigohan, the garbage and hate that comes out of your mouth is really sickening. You are polluting this site with nauseating vicious attacks. You need to be investigated by the FBI for hate mongering

    • It’d be WW3. lol. Barry’s a joke, don’t tell me the US don’t spy on Russia, don’t tell me the US has never tried to influence foreign Countries elections! The DNC electronics got hacked, the lackidaisicle handling of emails by it’s party “is” too blame. And now “WE” all see how recklessly Hillary handled her Government classified materials which exposed her Lying Cheating ways.

      The Democratic Party has fallen so low with it’s political ways with all the emails handling of the DNC and Hillary’s email server that The Democratic Party are ASHAMED of themselves distracting people where the REAL problems are at, Themselves, The Democratic Party is too blame for their Cheatin, Lyin and bad handling of their emails. If Hillary personal server emails of Top Secret matter didn’t turn up, who knows what more other Foreign Countries would have gotten out her sloppiness with classified materials?

      • ^^^ that is the bottom line! The Democratic Party has only themselves to blame! And like the Democrats m.o., they BLAME everyone and everything but themselves to distract our attention from their failures! It’s all Smoke and Screens from the Democrats.

        • Exactly!
          Hacked emails ONLY EXPOSED the TRUTH about the DEM’s DECEITFUL LYING CHEATING IDEOLGY….PERIOD!
          Don’t blame the messenger!
          Dems are in TOTAL DISARRAY!

          January 20, 2017 #MAGA will be led by P.E. Trump’s…Government Of The People, By the People, For the People!

        • If Russia or our enemies had indeed hacked Clinton’s server as now the FBI claimed to be over 90% true, Hillary exposed our operatives working under cover! According to what I had read, it named people that are in cahoots with US agencies which jeopardizes their lives. The Democrats want us to overlook that startling fact the FBI put out for us readers by using Smoke and Screen tactics to distract what’s really wrong, themselves!

        • Yes the democrats have only themselves to blame. But now it is up to you republicans to perform. We shall see if you can come anywhere close to the success we have had under Obama or as is more likely will repeat the success of that republican hero, G W Bush. Just remember the stock market is now close to 20000, far above the under 7000 that your hero GW left us with.

        • @ boots
          “We shall see if you can come anywhere close to the success we have had under Obama..”

          What “success” has O accomplished that benefited a MAJORITY of Americans?
          Be specific.

        • lol, Keoningohan, where have you been? You haven’t had any economic advancement during the past 8 years? How come? What were you doing? I recovered my losses from the Bush administration plus some. I have been able to retire because of this. If we had another Bush, probably wouldn’t have been able to retire.

          Health care cost have been controlled for many Americans due to Obama Care. War with Iran has been avoided which is a big plus.

          Now can you say what exactly you expect the Donald to accomplish? How exactly is he going to make “America great” again? It is going to take more than simplistic slogans to accomplish this, assuming America is as bad as the Donald thinks.

        • @ boots
          SAD…go back under the rock with your CNN info base.
          You’re not worth the time.

          Expecting GOP to fix up YOUR DISASTROUS OBAMA FAIL…SMH

          January 20, 2017 #MAGA

        • @ vector
          You EMBARASSED the emails EXPOSED to the WORLD your folks lying deceitful ideology?
          OR have you no shame/lack of resposibility that you folks blaming the messenger & not YOURSELVES?

    • BINGO! Putin makes Barry look bad, lol. Can’t wait for TheDonald to play the chess game with Putin. Who knows what the future holds but I figure TheDonald got more business and dealing savor than Barry ever will get with that Libertard views of his. Barry played nice and look how he gets treated by Putin, Barry gets taken to the cleaners, lol. Being nice to supposed enemies does not equate to fair play but you open yourself up to be taken advantage of, how could one be so trusting of entities that think differently than you do? Barry’s strategies failed, look how his legacy got done, by executive orders, behind the backs of America’s Gov. Houses dealings with Iran on it’s Nuclear Deal that was locked up with the U.N. before even reaching both Houses. Barry tried to open up America with Libertard ways/view and the People have spoken that our Country was headed in the wrong direction electing TheDonald.

        • imo, Hillary wins Calif.’s popular vote because it’s a State with a lot of Migrants from the Southern Border or foreign Countries. These voters have an agenda, to open our borders which would in time change America. You read how Democrats wanting to ditch the Electoral process going solely on the popular vote and you know what these Libertard Democrats will change the US. Do we have a Country or our own or do you want this Country changed away from our founding values? Our immigration Laws on paper have already been set aside with all past/present elected Leaders of “all” parties. Let’s hope TheDonald remake’s America for what it was founded on, Make America Great Again, Make America America Again!

        • Pocho
          RE California

          I read that as part of Obama care, California expanded Medicaid
          This is the program you are on if you can qualify for 100% subsidy
          There is also a provision for not completely free.

          I read that 30% of the population in California are on Medicaid and of these only 1% pay anything.
          So 29% of the state are getting free medical care.
          Thats a pretty solid voting block.

  • Your Comment Has Been Sent for Moderation.

    Obviously Vladimir Putin is The Bigger Man! Real Leaders do not stoop down to childish tantrums or accuse other leaders or Countries of meddling in their affairs/elections! So what,if Obama ejects those Russian diplomats,as mentioned,people would expect Vladimir Putin to do the Same? “I’ll Take My Marbles and go Play Somewhere else”. I don’t think so. This is petty !

    Putin has already assessed his options and knows there is a Better way to patch the indifference between our two countries!
    Why is the WH doing this NOW? For “Obvious” Reasons. We see what’s going on.We were once children ourselves,but now we or most have become ADULTS!

    So let’s analyze……We have the WH/Obama/Congress/Democrats & Republicans/ Intelligence/ CIA accusing the Russians of interfering with our election process,without any reliable or credible evidence to substantiate their claims? Really? How Crazy is that!

    Yeah,also in the past 8 years we had Russian intrusions/Hacking/compromising our intel and the WH was well aware of this,but again,Why Now?
    This is one is my Favorites quotes: “If the Russians did indeed hack the election,why did Hillary Clinton still win the Popular Votes”.

    And If the Russians via Wikileaks are responsible for exposing The Dishonest DNC , The Democratic Party,The Clinton Foundation,John Podesta,Uma Abedin & Hubby “Oscar Meyer Weiner” CNN & MSM, Debbies Wasserman Schultz and The Notorious Donna Brazile feeding prepared questions to Hillary Clinton before the Debates? Braaaaaaaah The List is endless!

    Texas Senators says:
    “They did a HUGE Service for The American People by exposing all the corruption”. IMUA

    • @ MoiLee
      I moderated your post and I feel you get it!
      TRUTH was exposed and the DEMS are in DISARRAY…chickens running around w/o their heads..EMBARASSING & MAKE “A”!

      #MAGA

      • Putin as head of the KGB for decades,is I deed a cunning and crafty man. He may appear friendly and amiable, but beware of his hidden motives and agendas. Remember, when Hitler signed a pact with Russia at the beginning of World War II, shortly thereafter Hitler invaded Russia. Do not place any trust in any tyrant or dictator, for they will undermine and subvert your liberties, freedoms and your country’s institutions.

  • Putin is a crafty little man. He likes things just the way they are. The final act is never owning up to spying and putting Donald in his pocket. American spies in Russia are welcomed and closely monitored. He loves to spy on the American spies. Keep you enemy close.

  • Kind of reminds me of that old 1960’s poster: “What if they Gave a War and Nobody Came”. President Obama drew another line in the sand… and no one is paying any attention to him…. again.

  • Putin is smart not to retaliate what nerobama is trying to do is get us in a conventional war with russia that way nerobama can have a third term as president when we are at war. when we got into WWII that’s how Roosevelt got a third term as president. nerobama is looking out for himself not America. a real mental demented nerobama.

    • Yes, little Barry al-Hussein has the backbone of a jellyfish and that’s an insult to jellyfish. Putin has exposed him for the small immature man-child that he is. Putin has used Barry as a door mat for eight years. The ill-advised “Russian Reset” was a giant embarrassment. And Barry telling Dmitry Medvedev to reassure Putin that after the election he will be more flexible regarding missile defense of western nations. To boil it down Barry is a typical of progressives who find it fashionable to hate America so thus it is unworthy of defending. Trump coming in is sure to be a game changer in a positive way for the USA. This is similar to what happened when Jimmy Carter was replaced by Ronald Reagan. The bad actors of the word were put on notice that a new sheriff was coming to town and unlike the old sheriff he actually had a pair.

  • nerobama being a bully puppet who cares what happens in the Ukraine and Crimea or Syria you know its not our problem its a European problem that is why a say get out of NATO let them NATO countries deal with Russia, its none of our business and has nothing to do with us. no intrest that helps us.

  • Putin’s Puppet President Trump. Put your hand over your heart, and repeat after me, “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, to the United States of Amerussia.”

    • Is that all you got after you guys were exposed to be deceitful, untrustworthy, colluding with FAKE NEWS MSM, rigging the DEBATES, rigging your own primaries setting up the WORST candidate you guys had?

      WOW!

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