State Department ‘Horrified’ As Trump Pretends Expelled Diplomats Are No Big Deal


After Congress passed a sanctions bill last month aimed at Russia, Iran, and North Korea, the president took his sweet time signing it. He knew it had to be signed, as it went through the legislative branch with veto-proof majorities in both chambers. But that didn’t mean he had to like it. Trump issued a signing statement simultaneously with the bill that said it had “a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions” that likely infringed on his authority as president.

That seems to be the sticking point for Trump on nearly everything these days — his authority. Regardless of your political affiliation, you’ve known plenty of Trump-like tyrants throughout your life, and maybe you even were one yourself. I’m talking, of course, about children, whose behavior Trump’s is increasingly modeled after since the day he realized he couldn’t snap his fingers and undo everything that black guy who used to live in his house ever did.

True to form, when Vladimir Putin expelled 755 US diplomats from Russia in retaliation for our retaliation for their retaliation, Trump put on his little boy pants once again:

I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned, I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.

Not only does Donald Trump sound like a child — as in, use words a child might use if they were trying to sound older or fill out a word count in a book report — in that quote, you can almost paraphrase it into any context in which a child might say something like that: “Take my sneakers? I never wanted those sneakers anyway, you butthead.” “Oh yeah? Well, I like the back seat better! Joke’s on you!”

It was the very first thing Trump has said about it since Putin took the action on July 30th. It is not, however, the first thing the US government has said. That’s been a problem for Trump: He comes out full of bluster and says something that completely contradicts official statements from other departments who frankly are just trying to do their goddamn jobs the way those jobs have always been done.

The State Department’s initial reaction to the diplomatic mass-expulsion by Putin was to call it “a regrettable and uncalled-for act.” Let’s compare and contrast that response with Trump’s for a moment. Is it any wonder State, under the direction of the often-at-odds-with-Trump Secretary Rex Tillerson, would be “horrified and rattled,” as Salon reports on Friday?

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Featured image via State Department/Public Domain

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