US President Donald Trump seems to have been misled by his aides on the number of Russian diplomats planned to be expelled in the wake of the Skripal incident, senior US administration official said, TASS with reference to The Washington Post reported.
According to the administration source, on March 24, Trump’s aides explained to him that the US "would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil," The Washington Post wrote.
The aides meant the total number of Russian diplomats expelled by London and planned to be declared personae non grata by other EU members. However, Trump "seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia," while he had said that Washington would not take the lead and would only match the number of expulsions.
On March 16, Washington expelled 60 Russian diplomats, including 48 embassy staff and 12 members of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. In addition, the US authorities decided to close Russia’s consulate in Seattle. Meanwhile, France and Germany expelled four Russian diplomatic workers each.