Trump Praises Putin Instead of Critiquing Cuts to U.S. Embassy Staff

The president’s comments were in keeping with his practice of not criticizing the Russian leader.

Comments: 191

  1. Putin is a great leader who has been more than patient with Cold War relics in the U.S. Congress.

    He deserves President Trump's friendship and camaraderie.

  2. I'm certain that the corpses in Syria and Ukraine agree with your assessment.

  3. Finally, we have a clear-thinking, speak-his-mind, fighting-for-America president.
    One who is working the presidency at the efficiency and speed of a modern corporation.
    Many on the left -- mostly millennials -- are now backing Trump. If pollsters claim that Trump's base is shrinking, you know what means by now, don't you ?

  4. correction, it should read:
    "If pollsters claim that Trump's base is shrinking, you know what *that* means by now, don't you ?"

  5. "One who is working the presidency at the efficiency and speed of a modern corporation."

    Hmm! So when VW cheated on emissions testing. . .is that an example of efficiency and speed?

  6. Does it mean that they're correct and people are coming to their senses? Sure hope so.

  7. How did we come to this state that the leader with a large following proudly collude with an enemy state and it's spy agencies while sabotaging the American interest globally? How did such a large number of Americans turn against essential American values that made the country great historically? It is mind boggling.

  8. Quite simple, actually. Instead of listening to "I couldn't vote for that liar, Hillary", realize that what was being expressed was "I am a (pick one or more) a racist, mysogynist, homophobe, xenophobic hater, classist". The sooner we realize that political correctness is actually not seeing our arrogant, belligerent, and condescending underbelly, the sooner we can perhaps start a course correction.

  9. The rightwing media and trump republicans admire strong leader type fascism and authoritarian forms of government...like Putin's. Extreme right reactionaries all over the world think the same.

  10. Yes please! Keep on demonstrating the fact that you won't uphold the Constitution. Not now, not ever.

  11. He's clueless.
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

  12. I scream at the TV a lot. If I were religious, I would pray.

  13. Cry. Definitely cry. He's a real and present danger.

  14. He is not clueless. He is working directly for the Kremlin. He has been for years.

  15. What a massive insult to the men and women who devoted their careers to serving the interests of the United States in the land of one of our greatest geopolitical foes. It would be better if POTUS just didn't say anything at all.

  16. It would be better if this unbalanced individual resigned or better yet, was arrested.

  17. Well that's not going to happen!

  18. Russia's weakening of American presence in that country is of far greater consequence to our national security today than the ritual scaring from North Korea of the past week. And Trump STILL can't criticize Putin. Appalling.

  19. I can come up with a more effective way to save on the govt. payroll and it only involves one civil-servant being dismissed. Just jaw-dropping.

  20. Lets not forget Congress too. Plenty of Dems that pander to bottom feeders for votes and repubs that count on Bible thumpers for a vote. Then immediately sell you out to special interest groups.

  21. I just can't accept arguments in this time that start with "plenty of Dems." Dems are not the problem.

  22. Michele, the person who you are consider firing doesn't know how to serve. It is an insult to civil-servant to consider him as one of them.

  23. If he is trying to be funny, he isn't.
    And if he isn't, he has no appreciation for the heroic and immensely important job performed by diplomats abroad in the State Department, often making great personal sacrifices to live in hostile countries like Russia, serving America.

  24. I'm sure all the poor Russian employees of the embassy and consulates, will think fondly of him too. Just makin' friends all around the world.

  25. So I didn't quite get what Trump really meant in his response to Putin's "Jump." Was it "Yes, Big Vladdy", or "How high SIR!"

  26. You can't take a joke can you?

  27. Did you watch the briefing? I did, and it wasn't said as a joke. He was serious. He is unfit for the presidency. Every time he opens his mouth, he reinforces that fact.

  28. If it WAS or WASN'T 'a joke' is beside the point! He's the PRESIDENT, not some smarmy lounge comedian on a local cable channel.

  29. I watched it too Laura, and agree - he wasn't joking.

  30. What next? Trump is going to appear in an aluminum foil hat and declare war on the Martians. Wasn't Kelly supposed to vet his statements? Please Congress do something now!

  31. Mr. Trump,
    Do you think you're funny, thanking Putin for his actions? Are you feeling clever with these remarks? Let me assure you, you are not funny or clever. You do not have the knowledge, experience, or skills to deal with presidential matters. You are completely out of your depth. You are endangering me and my fellow Americans with your ineptitude. I would like your resignation on my desk immediately.

    Sincerely,
    Almost Everyone in the United States of America

  32. ...and Canada!

  33. D, I totally agree with your sentiment and your call but it appears our view is not shared by 'almost everybody in the U.S.'

    Regrettably, he still commands majority support from within the Republican base; the very same people who, when polled recently, conceded in the majority that climate change represents a threat to the U.S. but felt that it won't affect them personally.

    So, until we are able to convince the Trump cult followers that he is deranged and represents a greater (near term) danger than even climate change, the Republican leadership won't budge and he's going nowhere.

    At the moment I'm not sure whether I'm more contemptuous of the leaders or the followers and that from a traditionally conservative voter.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. It's not for the want of trying.

  34. Thank you, DHart.

    Everybody, let's keep this comment high on the list of picks, where others will see it without scrolling.

  35. For a moment I thought I was reading the Onion. Nope. Just the worst president ever.

  36. I make that mistake every single day when I read the newspaper.

  37. ...or maybe another Borowitz satire piece?

  38. can't critisize his consistency.

  39. Trump has honed instincts for spinning stories. Honestly my first reaction is I didn't know we had that many staffers in an embassy. So how many are left?

  40. If Congress refuses to impeach Mr. Trump, they can surely impeach Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for condoning this treatment of his own diplomats by Putin and Trump.

  41. Tillerson is gutting the State Department. He's a huge part of the problem. Why, why, why do they want to gut our Diplomatic Corps? Do they WANT a war(s)? Sure seems like it. Tillerson is dangerous. Just as dangerous as Trump.

  42. No wonder he's been bankrupt so many times.

  43. Donald Trump continues to treat our career diplomats and staff in the most disgraceful and destructive manner. These people do vital work to advance our interests throughout the world, often in dangerous conditions, and for our President to tell Vladimir Putin that he's grateful for the opportunity to save money through their eviction is an outrage. Our diplomatic community must be reeling at having to serve such an ignorant and ungrateful master.

  44. Trump does not understand service, period. Unless of course the service is to him.

  45. It's Animal House time: "Thank you, sir! May I have another?!"

  46. We can save money by throwing diplomats out of Russia, but we would save even more in the way of grief if someone would throw out the current occupant of the White House.

  47. "Trump Offers Putin Thanks, Not Critique, for Throwing Out U.S. Diplomats."

    Welcome folks. . .to the twilight zone.

  48. The accelerating pace of Trump's desperate lashing at all perceived foes, both foreign and domestic, to me signals a clear mental breakdown. Hopefully there is bipartisan talk in Congress of removing from office this threat to national and global security.

  49. This is confusing. Other reports indicate that many of the personnel to be dropped are Russians, and so I guess there could be somem payroll savings there, but any State Department people there are most likely career employees, and any decision to RIF or otherwise let them go now is our decision and not Putin's. And, of course, if the Administration felt we were overstaffed in Moscow, they could have acted unilaterally to fix the situation.

  50. I think you may be confused because you assume Trump knows what he's talking about. When you realize he's a complete fool, you take his words for what they're worth: absolutely nothing.

  51. Well, if there were anything he should know about, it would be what could be saved by firing people. And who is firing whom.

    I can't believe I still work for this guy...

  52. Ya know, we can save money too by not maintaining any infrastructure.

    What could go wrong?

  53. What will President Trump say next? Will he thank Putin for massive interference in our elections, so the United States can just skip the next elections and save a lot of money? Evidently this President believes the State Department is unnecessary, along with the intelligence community, and perhaps Senator McConnell.

  54. You just identified one thing he's right about then: McConnell.

  55. Trump is indebted to Putin so he will continue to show partiality for as long as he remains in office. What can be said about a President who goes against congressional members to appease a despotic leader who is antithetical to the principles and values of his own country? Congressional members , enough is enough.

  56. First Trump signed off on the sanctions, then complained about that bill, now thanks Putin for the fallout. So much for decisiveness.

  57. Could we perhaps also give Putin authority to fire our Cabinet officials too, then? Please?

  58. Trump is not going to cross Putin, since Russian oligarchs own
    the Orange One's posterior. He would rather threaten to blow up North Korea.

    Right wing bullies are all the same. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, and Reagan showed his courage by tear gassing Berkeley students and conquering Grenada.

    Real warriors- Eisenhower, Wellington, Grant- focus their energies on making good military decisions. That's a process that our current President cannot even imagine.

  59. "And if you decide to respond to our Congress' unwise decision to impose more economic sanctions by blowing up a U.S. battleship that would be fine by me. We've got too many sailors as it is."

  60. this was a poor review of a poor piece of comedy.

  61. Is Trump Putin's lackey? There seems to be much conflict of interest as yet uncovered. Mr Mueller, you got your job cut out for you, and wish you all success to oust this fraudster.

  62. It's only a matter of time before he claims credit for reducing the Moscow office(s) payroll.

  63. Thank you Peter Baker for your dedication to truthful reporting.

    As a country of laws and not men, we cannot tolerate the hypocrisy and treason of this illegitimate administration. Having lived through Vietnam, it is clear that the only way to rid this country of this evil"man" child is to march as we did in 60's and 70's. It worked then and will work again. Yes - there is a RESISTANCE- but it is fragmented. When the disparate resistance groups unite, we can change this radical vile authoritarian regime. Otherwise, we are doomed to repeat the history of Nazi Germany. WORLD- pray for us!

  64. How is this now a high crime and misdemeanor?

  65. Saying it once and having nobody laugh proves it was a poor joke.

    Telling *three times* proves the joke is on the teller...

  66. Fool me once, shame on ....

    LOL! Remember?

    Sigh. You KNOW things are really really bad when you feel nostalgic for George W. And I'm NOT being flip. (Just ready to.)

  67. I actually laughed at that one.

  68. Hurting the U.S. State Department is a centerpiece of Putin's Foreign Policy. Trump will support his master in any way that he can.

  69. This President is now openly mocking and undermining our national interests all because of his avarice. It's a sick spectacle made all the more disconcerting because our Congress stands by and allows it to happen. I never expected the U.S. Senate to behave like the Roman one under the Caesars.

  70. Why do we have to put up with this nonsense?
    Dump is unhinged, nasty, clueless, inept, stupid, uneducated, and has absolutely no business being in ANY position of trust. He is totally unfit to be POTUS and is an existential threat to the United States and the world.

    I honestly don't care how he is removed from office as long as it is done before he blunders us into a nuclear war! Perhaps Mr. Bezos could pay Dump enough money to resign.

  71. Well Gee here are the reasons. He won by the official rules. He has done nothing to justify impeachment. The Republicans control congress so they probably won't allow any trumped up charges. If you did not understand this you must be defective in some way. How much do you think it would take to get him to resign? And you like Pense as president better?

  72. This goes in the "you can't make this up" category. Now Putin is the outsourced HR manager for the State Department.

  73. No pardon for those who provide comfort to an enemy state: PRISON.
    Nothing less; maybe more.

    The American People

  74. Wow - could Trump sound any more callous? Definitely would make someone think twice about taking a government position while Trump is in office. I guess this offers more than a little insight into why so many positions are still unfilled in his administration, including, laughably, the ambassador to South Korea. Well, he's probably just grumpy about having his "working vacation" being pushed more to the working end of the spectrum.

  75. Since the government is way over staffed many need to go anyway. I would be happy to say replace three or more of them.

  76. Which is very easy and glib to say when your job isn't the one on the line. He's suggesting - again, very callously - that these jobs - unlike, say, Carrier jobs that were bought back from Mexico by outright government giveaways (and then not really bought back if you continue to follow the story) don't matter and the people whose lives are directly impacted don't matter either. Hopefully one day you'll be able to experience someone arbitrarily joking about your job while firing you for no reason of your own.

  77. Unlike the ineptitude of the US president, these educated diplomatic career people have respect for their positions and fellow workers. They did not inherit their jobs from dad. They put effort and evidently caring into what they are doing. Shame for belittling and demeaning them and their service to this country! We the citizens thank you for representing us with class, and professionalism.

  78. “I want to thank him, because we’re trying to cut down on payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

    He applauds more Americans losing their jobs?

  79. Russians loosing their jobs mostly.

  80. Trumps language is very telling.

    Referring to Putin "letting go" American government employees implies it is Putin that is really in charge of our government as only the boss can let someone go.

    Freudian slip perhaps. Trump is such a simple minded creature. Bobby will eat him up and spit him out.

  81. Hey, wouldn't impeachment save the government even more money on country club protection, golf cart rentals and New York office tower security? Glad to help out!
    Seriously, if you're an American diplomat: please hang in there and know that millions of us thank you for your service and pray for your safety.

  82. This comment should put to rest any doubts that Trump is on Putin's payroll. Add this to your long list of Trump's Putin praise, Mr. Mueller, as you prepare for his indictment.

  83. An engaged and committed diplomatic presence is one of the most positive pieces of foreign policy any government can pursue. Many diplomats are experienced in some aspect of culture, or finance or politics; American Embassies in many countries actively cultivate productive relationships with local groups and institutions. However, many of these relationships are not really visible from here in the States.
    That the president is thankful that the diplomatic presence in Russia has been forcibly reduced is nuts. He obviously has no understanding of the soft power that a good diplomatic presence commands.

  84. Yes but none of that is diplomacy, but rather propaganda. We don't need and can't afford all that cultural stuff. Deal with their governments, nothing else.

  85. We can't afford the relative pittance peaceful cultural associations cost, but we can afford the outrageously bloated military and worldwide military compounds? Peace is a lot cheaper than war.

  86. What a lame way for Trump to try saving face. Of all the things our government spends money on, diplomats are a drop in the bucket.

  87. Once again, trump sides with Putin over America and our diplomats. As far as "cutting payroll", these diplomats have been expelled from the country, not fired. Trump is the one working for Vladimir Putin, it seems. He is an embarrassment, the likes of which the world has never seen.

  88. ABSURD. We cannot go numb to this!! Another line crossed, more damage to America. Disgracing the men and women who serve our country abroad? Check. Bowing to Putin's aggression in the wake of one of the greatest attacks on our democracy? Check. How can it be, that for a President so willing to attack even those he needs to be successful (the McConnel tweets), he just simply cannot bring himself to say a single thing to challenge Putin? But the Russia investigation is a complete fabrication. Give me a break.

    With the Russian Twitter bots beginning to turn on the GOP, the spy plane flying over Bedminster and the expulsion of our State staff I wonder if Putin is tightening the choke collar or just going on an all out offensive? Either way Trump will grow increasingly isolated and cornered if Putin truly holds the suspected Kompromat.

    Let's hope the GOP grows a spine before the President plays his Trump card; war with North Korea.

  89. What damage, lots of waste will be removed, the remaining employees will have to work harder. We will be fine and I would not issue visas to visit Russia except with very severe need. Punish them.

  90. Most of them losing their jobs aren't even Americans.

    Russia issues visas for Americans visiting their country. The U.S. does not issue visas to visit Russia.

  91. Now we've crossed over to the surreal. Could someone tell this clown those people, whose lives have been upended, children jacked out of school, are still on the payroll? We now have the extra expense and work of relocating them Stateside or other posts that are hungry for resources. I never thought I'd see a president that would refuse to stand up for the United States or totally be devoid of concern for Americans or it's sovereignty.

  92. Not the locals who will be most of those eliminated. And some when they get home might not have a job. You really think making a big deal out of this would be good, Putin would love us to be outraged that would be a win for him. Not making it a big deal beats him.

  93. Uh, no. Not making it a big deal feeds Putin's ego and plays right into his hands. But in the Bizzarro World of right/wrong wing logic, bad is good and down is up.

  94. Trump's response IS the Putin victory. He already won. Now it's how we respond as American's that counts. Confident, proud and looking after our own interests is what you'd expect from POTUS. Instead we get this weak, tail between the legs response from a man who's clearly in over his head.

  95. Mr. President, you can save us even more money by resigning!

  96. With the enormous bills being ginned up by the entire Trump family to protect them wherever they go, we would save a lot of money if they were shown their pink slips. Also might save the country, although it may be too late for that.

  97. Penny wise. Pound foolish.

    Or is it rubles and dollars? Dollar and rubles?

    Does it matter?

  98. Just another day in the executive branch where the president, once again, praises and fawns over Vladimir Putin while he criticizes and taunts the majority leader of his own party. How is it he has no clue of the importance of this diplomatic staff? I'm sure he has been told, but has no interest in learning or listening to those who have dedicated their careers to public service. Sickening.

  99. Trump's primary interest is himself and his ppreservation. Hopefully Mueller 's investigation will uncover Trump's indebtedness to Russian financial interests

  100. Simply amazing. Putin corrupts our elections, fires employees and basically demonstrates bad behavior, and Donald praises him. McConnell follows a democratic process to achieve results, unsuccessfully, and Donald criticizes him. Can it be any more clear how much Trump wants to be Putin and turn our system into something a kleptocrat would admire?

  101. But I thought he was going to cut unemployment. He has an odd way of doing it.

  102. Perhaps they could try mining coal?
    One would think he would need more diplomats with the mess he has made with other countries, even our allies.

  103. Not only is trump's comment one more instance of his support of Putin over this country's best interests, it is an insult to the 700 hardworking diplomatic staffers who were expelled. Disgraceful is too kind a word for this buffoon.

  104. Can you imagine if President Obama said the same thing? We would be rightfully drawing up articles of Impeachment or invoking 25th amendment.

    But nary an outrage or even coverage by the press.
    To paraphrase Trump: SAD

  105. Hunh? It is being covered by the press. Who published the story you responded to? What's SAD is nary outrage from Republicans. Guess they're soft on Russia.

  106. Hey, the press published it. You can bet that the GOP won't even mention it. As far as outrage, we're beginning to suffer from adrenal exhaustion here. Probably that's been the plan all along.

  107. Can you imagine if President Obama said any of the many obnoxious or idiotic or sexist etc things that dt has said? The republicans would be trampling each other the get the impeachment and trial started asap. Just imagine...

  108. The president does not seem to understand the distinction between the expulsion of a diplomat and the termination of employment of a federal employee. These are two different things and Putin can only control the former action and not the later. The idea that any executive could somehow conflate these two things is beyond comprehension.

  109. This is what his supporters wanted: A president who has no clue how government functions. They call it being "an outsider," when in reality he is profoundly incompetent. I don't know when that became such a selling point. Have these supporters never run a business? Hired a contractor? Gone to a doctor? Would you ever want someone working for you who had no experience in the job, no training for the job, nothing but disdain for the job? Yet that is who they knowingly -- enthusiastically -- elected. I'd keep banging my head on a wall, but it's starting to hurt.

  110. Unfortunately, Putin controls the expulsion of diplomats from his country and every policy matter in the US.

  111. Rep. Ryan, Sen. McConnell, Presidents Bush, Secretary James Baker,

    The nation has its eyes in you all. We IMPLORE you to speak up, speak out and speak truth to power about President Trump and his administration. To speak out about the rancid, rotten, hatemongerjng being promoted in the name of the GOP.

  112. Um...you are appealing to Republicans? They put Trump there. Just sayin'.

  113. Just when you think he hit the rock bottom, he digs even deeper.

  114. ...and he is taking the entire country with him. Frightening.

  115. Trump is a complete tool, but I actually have no problem with this response. He is basically refusing to engage in the typical, pointless Cold War tit-for-tat - de-escalating the situation by semi-jokingly thanking Putin instead of making some kind of threat that would invite further response from Putin. Now, if only he could apply this same logic to North Korea...

  116. I might agree with you but his 40 years of doing stupid things and demeaning people says different.

  117. That's insane but no great surprise.

  118. Trump is obviously compromised. Most likely after that last bankruptcy when he couldn't get loans from American banks, he started laundering money for Russian oligarchs.

  119. OK, enough is enough with thanking Putin. There is something seriously wrong with him and why his party is not doing a thing about this , is beyond me. He keeps thanking Putin because Putin got him elected. If most of us see that, why can't something be done before he starts a war..oh yeah, he started the rhetoric this week for war.

  120. So it would be better to make Putin think he is actually hurting us by this action? After all we really should thank Obama for starting it, and these cuts should be made in every embassy around the world. They are bloated, do lots of things that are either worthless or too expensive. Great cost reductions that are greatly needed.

  121. You know what? We're really getting sick and tired of blaming everything on Obama. Do you people ever take responsibility for anything? It's always someone else's fault. Hillary, the "liberal" news media, "fake news", Obama, the Clintons. Really, get a life. Whiners and losers, every one of you.

  122. Nope. They love to shift blame. Just like the Deflector and Chief. The same stuff we all have heard from Trumps campaign trail.

  123. Based on your response I am sure that you have never traveled out of the U.S. nor operated a business that did work overseas, and therefore have no idea what positive and necessary operations are performed for Americans in our embassies and consulates. The vast majority of the personnel that are being cut are Russian nationals doing work for us, a real thorn in Putin's side for a long time past. The cuts will not result in cost savings; all the Americans coming home will not lose their jobs. It will cost to move them early. Like you, the president doesn't understand that or what services we will lose, such as intelligence and traveler support. The major reason that we don't understand what is going on in North Korea is because we have little intelligence assets; you and the President are advocating reducing our intelligence gathering capabilities around the world to save money? The state department budget is less than 1% of the overall budget, and it is money well spent in many ways. We will have many more problems getting along with the peoples of the world if we cut our embassy staff wholesale and become more insular, just like N. Korea.

  124. If he meant it as a joke, I doubt anyone is laughing. Definitely not the 755 people who lost their jobs, or their families who will suffer as yet to be known hardships after the fact. Trump will make any excuse not to speak badly about Putin, but thanking him for this is really bizarre. It's like thanking someone who robs and vandalizes your home because you wanted to redecorate anyway.

  125. Great analogy.

  126. They didn't lose their jobs. They'll be reassigned. Putin doesn't have the power to fire American diplomats just because he expels them.

    This IS, however, a massive slap in the face to our diplomatic servants who represent our country abroad. What an enormous insult and degradation of their work. And also, our capacity and influence and Russia will be greatly decreased.

    So... basically this is a massive insult to American diplomats that doesn't even save us any money. Just about the worst deal in the history of deals.

  127. "....It's like thanking someone who robs and vandalizes your home because you wanted to redecorate anyway."...hilarious but sadly true too.....(...a mistake of the century to elect this guy..)...(sigh)

  128. So Trump has outsourced government restructuring to Putin.

    Trump has gone off the deep end and, like lemmings, his supporters are following him.

  129. Diplomats are the last bulwark between war and peace.

    The staff is civil service, so he can not just fire them, the will still get paid. No money is being saved, in fact it will cost more for Americans in Russia to do business, and I were an American tourists in Russia, I would be very afraid of what I might be charged with, even just walking across the street.

  130. Again, Trump is right. As a matter of fact the State Department has been a drain on the US for too long. Maybe just closing all our Embassies and severing diplomatic relations with every country (except Russia of course). The saving would be phenomenal (or Huge) The loss to this country would be exponentially more costly but that should be of no concern…America First you know.

  131. You clearly know nothing of the role, importance or function of the State Department. To blandly call it a drain simply because it costs money is like saying that the fire department is a drain because we have to pay for those fire trucks and fire fighters. Yes firing them would be a phenomenal savings until there is a fire. The State department abroad helps us to advance our national interests at the local level, to ensure smooth operations and trade among other functions. America first you know

  132. It was a good thing for Trump to praise Putin over Jobs lost because it saved money, something that manufacturing companies are doing, either moving to places with cheaper labor or layoff people and stay in America and Trump condemns them? Hypocritical .

  133. After a year of listening to you Einsteins RAIL against Russia, you are showing your GLARING HIPOCRACY after your Hero seized Russian properties, and removed diplomats after their " Act of War" on Your Queen during the 2016 election season. You should be demanding that ALL Diplomats be brought home from Russia as a matter of principle, but the best you have is a poor attempt to satirize someone who you firmly believe is a traitor, although you have NOTHING to back your belief. Name calling binges and baseless conspiracy theories make a sad, sad, case, but are to be expected from the party of tolerance, inclusiveness, and fairness to all!!!

  134. 25th Amendment. Congress, please do your job.

  135. Now we have more money to spend of Trump and his family's
    security

  136. The stench of blackmail grows stronger with Trump's every appeasing gesture offered to forgive the latest Russian transgression!

  137. Another embarrassing moment for America as Trump genuflects in Putin's presence.

  138. How much has trump's golf addiction cost us so far?

  139. I think he is in love with him!! What else could explain his behavior?

  140. Trump has transferred speech writing to Winston Smith in Minitrue?
    and G. Orwell thought he had written a novel!

  141. Each and every day, I wake up to discover that our "President " has said something more outlandish, more mind-numbingly mind-numbing, and more intellectually bereft than the day before.

    It's been an entertaining reality show — so far. However, with his bellicose ravings about North Korea raising his popularity ratings among his testosterone-addicted followers, it has become clear that his unhinged "Me Me! Me!" verbal excrescences are starting to become dangerous and no longer merely risible.

    This man-child must be reined in. Is there anyone in the Republican majority who is man — or, of course, woman — enough to stop him? Might any of you on the right care to defend our country from this loose cannon?

  142. Not surprising, but also surprising. We know he is in love with Vladdy P, but isn't he also supposed to be the 'greatest jobs president we've ever seen?' And now he is celebrating Americans getting fired? How anti-American can he get??

  143. The only thing the so-called president can see is money, $. Sad!

    Perhaps he can layoff the service staff in the WH and that will save money too. And hire some part time immigrants - the ones that his club rejects. Perhaps he can lay off a bunch of his secret service details to save even more money too. How about cutting the military as well?

    Fact is, will you, or anyone else, criticize the person who has a "dossier" on you?

  144. Pax Americana? Ave atque vale. DT's made us, if not a pariah state, a laughingstock. Are you ashamed of his incompetence, ignorance, and arroganc? Do you believe that he is unfit to lead and that he dishonors and disgraces not only his office but us all? Worse still, that our very democracy has been subverted and that we might have been victimized by a bloodless coup? There are times---once in a generation, even lifetime--when individuals are called on to ensure that the very foundations of our democracy continue. Clearly, Mr. Trump is most vulnerable on Russiagate. He’s indicated that in many different ways. Contact your two senators Call the Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 An nice robo voice will ask for your ZIP code and you'll be routed to your senators. A congressional aide will answer and record your concerns and pass them on. It takes 5 minutes and you only have two senators. Politely request their complete support for an immediate, full, OPEN, and bi-partisan hearing into the alleged Russian influences. AND be sure to urge that Mr. Trump's tax returns be subpoenaed. You can also ask Dem senators to post strong position statements on their web pages and GOP senators why they are waiting to cure a malignancy at the heart of our government. State your case clearly. These are crisis times; answer your call to duty. Please.

  145. The staff can now be redeployed in investigating Trump.

  146. Does this mean Putin is officially on Donald's payroll? He's making personnel decisions for him, after all.

  147. Diplomacy is the biggest threat to the IMPOTUS. It had to be removed in order to achieve the level of international hostility and confrontation required for his ultimate goals of martial law and a full time military industrial mafia presence around the globe.

  148. I have another idea how we could save money.
    No more taxpayer funded golf trips for our entitled president.
    We'd rather pay for diplomats, since international politics cannot be conducted over Twitter.

  149. An attempt at humor from Trump. I suppose he thinks the USA can cut itself off from the rest of the world.

  150. Thank you Mr. Putin for taking over maintenance and upkeep of two of our diplomatic facilities in Russia. A dollar saved is a dollar earned. POTUS must be joyfully celebrating his 2018 budget savings. Is he for real? Sadly yes.

  151. You are doing an excellent job, Peter Baker! Hang in there!

  152. So, Trump on his own was not able to think of this cost-cutting move.
    He had to have a vile dictator do that for him.
    And then the fool we call president thanks the dictator.
    Wonderful times in America.

  153. I don't understand where the "cost-cutting" comes in--they're still on the payroll, only now they have nothing worthwhile to do. Apparently, our president doesn't even see this or, more likely, he thinks his "base" does not understand this, and he may be right there.

  154. Trump is acting like a child that is tentatively seeing how much he can get away with. It's becoming clear to him that his supporters have complete fealty to him and the right wing media is entirely behind him, so he's becoming more and more comfortable acting out the way he is.

    As distressing and dangerous as it is, his supporters are laughing and enjoying all the distress this causes. Trump's a lunatic, but he's their lunatic.

    Today it was published that half of Republicans would be fine with the 2020 elections being canceled until it was sure that illegals aren't voting. I'm sure right wing media would be 100% behind this. This is just a prelude of things to come.

  155. A typically glib, and almost childlike response. This man is unfit for political leadership. His wealth and notoriety have won him a novel (albeit seemingly burdensome) pet project to take him into retirement. One can only hope he doesn't get bored enough to start playing soldiers. The world is safer if he sticks to golf.

  156. I helped 3 close relatives thru old age dementia. I saw the progression close up. Trump's behavior and speech patterns show all the markers of primary Alzheimer's. Rages, wandering focus, erosion of logical thinking.

    This is now the Man with his finger on the Button.

  157. Trump and Tillerson are destroying the State Department putting us in even greater jeopardy.

  158. Trump is a pathetic mess of little-boy impulses all trying to please daddy--in this case, Putin. And how insulting to refer to the Americans working in a difficult overseas assignment as "personnel," an cold term connoting nameless faces engaged in middling work. The man possesses no class, respect for his office, or affinity for his countrymen. I cannot look at him on television any more without revulsion.

  159. The truth is you can't talk out of both sides of one's mouth, except for elected politicians, who seem to do this on a daily basis. When we have countries that suppress not only opposition in the political realm of speaking out against sitting leaders of countries, who are dictators and despots, brutalizing or murdering their own people, especially those who don't agree with them, we shouldn't have a presence in the first place. nor should we give aid to those countries, as it all ends up in the pockets of despots! When, in the last decades have we really lived that truth around the world, in Asia, Africa, Central and South America? Not too much!

  160. Well I guess that's one less thing Trump and Tillerson will have to worry about - Putin is now in charge of our State Department budget.

  161. Trump is right. All Embassies have too many people, all thinking highly of themselves and constantly worrying about their dinner each night and holidays in foreign countries.

  162. Of course, the US is always better off if its intelligence on one of its major enemies is sharply reduced, and American citizens and companies in Russia who have problems will be delighted to cope with them on their own instead of having the support of their government. After all, doing without these things frees up money to pay Trump's golf courses for the accommodation of his staff and security while he goes on his endless vacations.

  163. What kind of president doesn't have the backs of American employees under his protection? He simply views them a cost to be slashed. No loyalty to these people. I want to see trump's full financials soon.

  164. What are the American People to do when our President makes statements like these or ratchets up world tensions attempting to prove his manhood? He, in the opinion of many, is not leading but using the presidency as a true bully pulpit. I grieve for my children and grandchildren who, if we survive this world crisis, will inherit an extremely diminished country.

  165. I can't stand Trump or his daily rants. But in this case, Trump's obviously trying to get under Putin's skin. I'm surprised it took him so long to give this obvious retort. Trump's not trying to avoid criticism of Putin. He's simply taking in stride what was intended to be a major blow to the U.S.

  166. puti does not have a superficial attachment to awe. he has billions of $ and millions who fear him.

  167. When Trump first started by saying he was grateful, I thought he was just trying to be facetious. By the end, I felt he thought this was his best response. Pathetic.

  168. As Jean Luc Piccard once said, Pathetic, indeed.

  169. What Trump doesn't realize is the Americans still have jobs and are still being paid until they are assigned elsewhere.

  170. Lessening the payroll.

    How about all the generals? They probably are costing us plenty.

    But oh, they're needed for all the war talk. And the Trump Afghanistan surprise that he promised today. Perhaps the Afghanistan gig will go to Betsy DeVos's brother, Eric Prince, though, who wants to privatize the military in Afghanistan.
    The Prince privatization project. Then Trump can pad their family pockets even more. No problem with payroll...

  171. I don't think #45 is capable of irony; so this is just more evidence of 1) something's wrong and 2) something's very very wrong.

  172. Just think how much more money could be saved by making cuts to the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies. Trump can just ask Putin for whatever the US government wants to know about what is happening in Russia.

  173. Can somebody tell the Donald that those diplomats are still employed by the US government?

    Does he honestly think that Putin has the right to fire our diplomats?

  174. Trump has no scruples and the GOP has no spine.
    I will fear for the republic until he is out of office.
    My money is on the 25th amendment.

  175. U.S. diplomatic employees enjoy a great deal of protection from arbitrary and capricious firings, and neither Trump nor, need it be said?, Putin (a foreigner) cannot terminate State Department employees at the drop of a hat. Of course Trump doesn’t know it because he knows nothing about our government and how it is run, in fact he knows nothing about anything except his family business. The State Department is obligated to find those employees, either at its Washington HQ or at other Stateside offices and diplomatic posts overseas. Period, end of story.

  176. The remarks from the White House shows that the connection to reality has been lost. I strongly suggest that the media start boycotting anything that comes out from there. Its not in the interest of US and if we start not paying attention to the tweets we are all better off

  177. I don't know about that.
    If he decides to access the nuclear codes, he will no doubt tweet it out. That may be our only warning. Only a fool would think threatening "fire and fury" on N.Korea as anything other than a reference to nuclear attack. I can't help but think this may be how it all ends.

  178. So where was this insightful perspective when it was time for Trump's fire and brimstone remarks to North Korea. Another NYT columnist recommended a similarly restrained response to Kim, the hateful little bully from NK.

    But then Donnie and Vlad have something special going, something that would be clear to all of us if Trump could be made to turn over his Tax returns.

  179. I wonder what Trump is going to do to get these people jobs... This after all is the greatest president ever who is going to produce millions and millions of high paying jobs and in the same breath cutting them.

  180. You have to wonder what’s going on in Secretary of State Tillerson’s mind. The State Department is of no value to this President.

    The State Department has been one the shining stars of our Democracy. They have been involved and instrumental in all major treaty negotiations and Agreements over the decades. The latest being the Iran Nuclear Agreement and Paris Climate Agreement. It’s so shameful of the President to treat “our” diplomats in such a crass manner.

    Tillerson should resign in protest over these comments and let the world know he does not condone what Trump has said about having a “smaller payroll". Many of these diplomats have given their lives for this country.

  181. Here we see Trump's 3rd grade level insult instincts on full display. The meaning is that Putin's move is of no consequence, it's not going to hurt us in the least. Boy that'll show him!

    I pity our foreign service agents, I really do. We've all had bad bosses, but he's almost inconceivably bad. Maybe he plans on sending Jared and Ivanka to stand in for our entire embassy.

  182. Foreign Service or Secret Service, I doubt you'd find a single one to "take a bullet" to save him.

  183. I always thought that Presidents do not comment on on going investigations. President Obama was scrupulous in abiding by this practice. And yet today Trump commented on the Manafort raid and the Muller investigation.

  184. This would be a good moment for high-ranking Republicans to start speaking up against Trump. (This, or any number of recent Trumpy moments)

    After all, after kicking Spicey and Reincy off the island and starting a conflict with McConnell, it seems he's plotting an attempt to split from the perceived "establishment" and complete his reshaping of the GOP in his and Bannon's image.

    Republicans might want to save their party image before he can completely trash it.

  185. When will he publicly thank Putin for his interference in the 2016 election?

  186. His behavior in office shows grave disrespect for America. It is all about Trump. I wish we, like ancient Athens, had the ability to exile those who disgrace our country. I nominate Trump as the first to get the boot. Maybe a steerage ticket to Murmansk.

  187. Read in isolation from all the other bizarre things trump has said and done so far, this one is almost comical. It's not that he's reluctant to criticize Putin, it's more that he can't bear to admit that anything bad can happen to the US while he's, ugh, the President. He'll make any excuse, no matter how stupid, to put a positive spin on an obvious setback.

    And then the comedy if over when you realize this buffoon, heading an executive whose leadership is either incompetent or can't agree on policy, has his finger on the nuclear button wondering what to do next.

  188. For any Trump fans who may be confused by this, it's not good. It's bad. It has nothing to do with our budget. It's not America First.

    It's taking sides against America. Make no mistake, Russia did this as a punishment, and our president eagerly accepted it.

    "Thank you sir may I have another" is not the response of an American president. It's weak. I thought you liked strong.

  189. I really think Trump is mentally ill, and his presidency is going to end very badly for all of us. To thank Putin for expelling diplomatic workers -- it's crazy.

  190. Let's hope Mr. Trump can find jobs for those American citizens dismissed at one of his far flung businesses or even in the U.S. Government. After all, before he became supreme ruler he promised to create jobs by the millions; here's his chance to follow through in a way that can be win for him and make positive news for his administration.

  191. I listened to Trump's words today during his version of a press briefing. Nothing new as he proceeded to impugn his predecessors re North Korea and boast about all his accomplishment during the last 200 or so days, with a dig or two toward his Republican colleagues in Congress. Of course, there was, yet again, the declaration of his being totally innocent re the Russian "witch hunt." And let's not forget to mention that this is the man who declared an opioid national state of emergency only a few hours before while ranting about McConnell's failure to repeal Obamacare. Mr. Trump, how can we help these people without medicaid expansion or insurance subsidies? All the above was expected. But to compliment Putin and thank him for saving the US money, disregarding the fact that seasoned diplomats will be out of a job...well, a new low for this character, if that is even possible. But let us stay tuned. Within 24 hours, we should be hearing from his counterpart in North Korea, responding with more threats to T's never-ending, widening red line. Another worrisome day, number 203.