>> President Donald Trump on Monday expelled more than 60 Russian diplomats from the United States, joining governments across Europe to punish the Kremlin, after a former Russian spy was poisoned in England.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where Trump is carrying out his toughest action yet against a country that's accused of meddling in elections and carrying out attacks on foreign soil.
Joining 17 other countries from France, to Poland, to Lithuania that are also taking out Russian officials. It's yet another sign that Trump's promised with Russian President Vladimir Putin isn't likely to happen. The Trump Administration expelled 12 Russian diplomats at the United Nations in New York and 48 at the Russian Embassy in Washington.
Also, ordering the Russian Consulate in Seattle to be closed, that office near a submarine base at an aircraft plant, the biggest such move since the height of the cold war. It's part of a coordinated effort by European countries standing in solidarity with United Kingdom which has already expelled 23 Russians in response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England, that sent former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter to then hospital.
Moscow vowing to respond to the move, even asking Twitter users which US Consulate in Russia it should close. Those actions coming less than a week after Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his re election, ignoring the advice of aides. Trump's continuing to reach out to Putin, even after his administration imposed sanctions for allegedly interfering in the 2016 US Presidential elections.
Administration officials say more sanctions are in the pipeline. Trump's stance towards Russia is always under scrutiny because his campaign is under investigation for possible collusion with Moscow. Administration Officials are calling out Russia for its spying and hacking activity in the United States. White House spokesman Rod Shaw.>> Today's actions make the United States safer by reducing Russian's ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations and threaten America's national security.
>> But even as Trump's government steps up the pressure, the President himself has been silent. He has yet to come out and forcibly condemn Moscow for any of this activity. Trump says he's tentatively made plans with Putin to meet some time in the future. That's looking less likely as conditions between the West and Moscow continue to deteriorate.