President Tump is expected accept the recommendations of his National Security Council and expel dozens of Russian diplomats from the United States.
On Friday, after a European Council meeting, ten European nations announced they would expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with the United Kingdom, which removed its diplomats from Moscow and ordered 23 Russian dipoles to leave the country earlier this week.
The U.K. made the decision after concluding Russia was responsible for the fatal poisonings of Sergei Skripal, 66, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter, 33-year-old Yulia Skripal.
Trump and his advisors reportedly wanted to wait to see what the European Council would decide before acting. Now, Trump is expected to act on the advice of the security council, which first considered responses to the poisonings on Wednesday and finalized their recommendation to the president on Friday.
“The United States stands firmly with the United Kingdom in condemning Russia’s outrageous action,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah told Bloomberg News. “The president is always considering options to hold Russia accountable in response to its malign activities. We have no announcements at this time.”
Germany, France, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Ireland and other nations are expected to announce diplomat expulsions on Monday. Trump is expected to follow suit.
Putin has denied Russia’s involvement in the poisoning. The Russian leader was recently elected to another six years as president.
President Trump was criticized this week for congratulating Putin for his election victory. In choosing to congratulate the Russian leader, Trump reportedly ignored the recommendations of national security advisor.
By Brooks Hays