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Trump will expel dozens of Russian diplomats over ex-spy's poisoning
27 March 2018, 08:30 | Simon Arnold
Russian diplomats expelled from UK
President Donald Trump is weighing a recommendation from his National Security Council that he expel a group of Russian diplomats from the United States 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. France and Germany backed Mrs May's call for tougher action, though their exact plans are less clear.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said the United States is considering how to respond but would not provide details.
However, the British government has firmly accused the Russian government of carrying out the attack, and has already expelled 23 diplomats in response.
The diplomats in question are considered undercover spies who disguise as embassy staff to carry out intelligence activity, one of the aides cited by Bloomberg said.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the United States is considering a "range of options to respond to Russia's outrageous actions in the UK, both to demonstrate our solidarity with our ally and to hold Russian Federation accountable for its clear breach of global norms and agreements".
The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom tweeted on its official account denying the letter saying: "There was no letter from Sergei Skripal to President Putin to allow him to come back to Russia". Trump discussed the issue that day with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, FBI Director Chris Wray, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, outgoing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and others, two people familiar with the talks said.
All of the people familiar with the discussions asked not to be identified. "We have no announcements at this time".
Meanwhile, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied rumors that Skripal had sent a letter to Putin asking him to be allowed to return to Russia. President Vladimir Putin described the accusations as "delirium" after he won another six-year term as president.
The president has recently replaced National Security Adviser McMaster with former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Secretary of State Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, changes that could impact his administration's stance towards Russian Federation.
Following a summit in Brussels to discuss the response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack, European Union leaders gave their full-throated backing to the prime minister by adopting a statement declaring it was "highly likely #Russia is responsible" for poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, tweeted that all leaders agreed Russia's responsibility for the attack was highly likely. The president chose to congratulate Putin and did not raise the poisoning incident, US officials confirmed.
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Nicholson echoed that, noting there was more outreach than publicly known - including through "backchannel" intermediaries. However, Khan's cousin, Khair Mohammad, said the cleric was a member of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan the Pakistani Taliban.
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Other seasons with three Elite Eight teams include 2002 and 2003. "It'd be even more special if I can get over that hump". All of that is great; however, the Raleigh, North Carolina native is at his peak when he passes out of this action.
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Juan Martin del Potro is another. "It was maybe a point here or there, maybe a shot, maybe a forehand, maybe a chip". Del Potro said the first order of business when he gets to south Florida is to do some celebrating with his team.