President Trump was reportedly furious when the U.S. plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats was made public, hurling expletives and insults at White House aides he claimed misled him regarding the magnitude of his own administration’s response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.
“There were curse words, a lot of curse words,” a White House official told the Washington Post after the announcement was made public on March 26.
The day before staffers had briefed Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on their proposal to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.
The number approximately represented the same total number that would be ousted by European partners as part of a coordinated effort to condemn the act of Russian aggression on foreign soil.
“We’ll match their numbers. We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching,” Trump reportedly told aides.
Trump was then outraged at ensuring media coverage that portrayed the U.S. as taking the toughest stance against Russia compared to the likes of Germany and France, which only ousted four diplomats apiece.
“I don’t care about the total!” Trump screamed, per the Post.
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