US expels 60 Russian intelligence officers in response to ex-spy’s poisoning

Posted on: March 26th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Trump is expelling 60 Russian intelligence officers from the United States, the White House announced Monday.

The expulsions are in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, U.K., earlier this month.

Of the 60 Russians, 48 are members of the Russian embassy, while 12 are stationed at the Russian mission to the UN, where senior administration officials said they were operating under the guise of diplomacy but were deemed to be conducting covert activities.

Although the Russian government has been notified of the expulsions, the issue did not come up when Trump and Russian President President Vladmir Putin spoke by phone last week.

The Russian operatives being expelled will be given seven days to leave the country, according to senior administration officials.

The expulsions are the second in less than two years. In December of 2016 President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and intelligence officials and shut down two diplomatic compounds in response to Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

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