Trump weighing recommendation to expel Russian diplomats

President Donald Trump is weighing a recommendation from his National Security Council that he expel a group of Russi...

Posted: Mar 25, 2018 1:24 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2018 1:24 PM

President Donald Trump is weighing a recommendation from his National Security Council that he expel a group of Russian diplomats from the US in response to the poisonings of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in England, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

It is believed that the US had been waiting to see what members of the European Council would do, a source with knowledge of the discussions said, and on Friday, 10 European countries announced they would follow the United Kingdom's lead by also expelling Russian diplomats.

Germany, France, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Ireland and several others will "likely" expel the Russians on Monday, a senior foreign diplomat told CNN.

The United Kingdom ordered 23 Russian diplomats back to Moscow last week after the country concluded that Russia was responsible for the poisonings.

The National Security Council's recommendation to Trump, made on Friday, comes after a high-level meeting at the White House on Wednesday in which the council drew up a range of options to take action against Russia, according to multiple State Department officials and a source familiar with the discussion.

Ultimately, the outcome of that meeting was a recommendation that Trump should expel more Russian diplomats from the US -- an option several sources told CNN was the most severe response under consideration.

Trump could act on the recommendation as early as Monday, one source familiar with the decision said.

Prior to Wednesday's meeting, one State Department source told CNN the move would be considered a "very serious step," especially given the last round of tit-for-tat expulsions that have left both Russia and the US with significantly smaller diplomatic forces in each other's countries.

On Tuesday, one senior State Department official, speaking on background, supported the UK's own decision to kick out 23 Russian diplomats: "We stand in solidarity with our Allies in the United Kingdom, and we fully supported the UK's decision to expel diplomats and take other actions to respond. The United States is considering a range of options to respond to this outrageous incident, both to demonstrate our solidarity with our Ally and to hold Russia accountable for its clear breach of international norms and agreements."

Russia and the UK have been embroiled in a bitter diplomatic fight since Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33-year-old Yulia Skripal, were poisoned in the English cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4.

The assault stoked British rage over what UK Prime Minister Theresa May called "a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil."

May has accused Russia of orchestrating the attack but Russian officials have repeatedly denied carrying out the poisoning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the accusations as "delirium" on Sunday, in comments after winning another six years as president.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1084488

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1425562217
Lake705171220
Allen64347862
Hamilton49481481
St. Joseph48135639
Elkhart39011536
Vanderburgh33874494
Tippecanoe29863271
Johnson26876463
Hendricks25548379
Porter24683380
Madison20440444
Clark19785275
Vigo18609308
LaPorte16638260
Monroe16237217
Delaware16230286
Howard16181310
Kosciusko13763162
Hancock12644184
Bartholomew12544188
Warrick11889189
Wayne11794264
Floyd11792225
Grant11484233
Morgan10134188
Boone9576120
Noble8921121
Henry8917163
Marshall8792146
Dearborn875798
Dubois8673138
Shelby7958127
Cass7907126
Lawrence7861182
DeKalb7416106
Jackson738093
Huntington7280107
Gibson6922118
Montgomery6830122
Harrison680696
Knox6779113
Steuben641185
Miami6384106
Whitley631160
Putnam626582
Clinton614176
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Jasper591991
Jefferson5617102
Ripley540892
Adams527881
Daviess4964116
Scott475978
Wells462998
White459967
Greene458399
Clay452162
Decatur4491109
Jennings434666
Fayette429094
LaGrange413890
Posey398344
Washington380654
Randolph3770107
Fountain364962
Spencer353446
Fulton352270
Starke343672
Sullivan342454
Owen341676
Orange320270
Jay315450
Rush293332
Carroll287037
Franklin283544
Perry281453
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Parke244930
Tipton244664
Pike241744
Blackford213944
Pulaski203158
Newton176552
Brown169850
Crawford167129
Benton160517
Martin149219
Switzerland143712
Warren131416
Union115416
Ohio90513
Unassigned0581

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1673496

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1757641826
Cuyahoga1629012636
Hamilton1118741528
Montgomery791421387
Summit697231199
Lucas615331017
Butler55597803
Stark521611170
Lorain40661639
Warren35239412
Mahoning34821769
Lake31171493
Clermont30541362
Delaware26553182
Trumbull26366611
Licking26095335
Medina25072351
Fairfield24063287
Greene23957369
Clark21542387
Portage20538280
Richland20465336
Wood19524246
Allen18427320
Miami16950348
Columbiana16385331
Muskingum16346206
Wayne15351304
Tuscarawas14018357
Marion12978194
Erie12350198
Ashtabula12171225
Scioto12166182
Pickaway12009151
Ross11417223
Hancock11151173
Geauga10572174
Lawrence10433171
Belmont10200231
Huron9545155
Jefferson9425225
Union933375
Sandusky8981166
Seneca8639156
Knox8591169
Washington8578156
Athens825096
Darke8215179
Ashland7777147
Auglaize7695115
Shelby7302132
Defiance7174114
Brown7015115
Crawford7010150
Fulton6953111
Logan6818108
Mercer679397
Guernsey677983
Highland6591117
Madison639289
Clinton6361106
Williams623498
Preble6153139
Putnam6054120
Jackson569496
Champaign564786
Perry557179
Coshocton5525103
Ottawa549599
Morrow504464
Fayette481270
Hardin475399
Gallia460278
Pike457876
Van Wert451591
Adams4495109
Henry422776
Hocking398093
Holmes3917137
Wyandot366673
Carroll348978
Paulding317449
Meigs300957
Monroe230860
Noble216147
Morgan208938
Harrison204052
Vinton182037
Unassigned05
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The chilly temperatures and clouds are sticking around Monday with a brief warm up midweek.
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