FLEMINGTON, N.J. — The Trump Administration’s decision to eject 60 Russians from the United States on Monday was met with widespread approval including from members of his own party in New Jersey.
Congressman Leonard Lance (R, NJ-07), a sometimes Trump critic, applauded the President’s move.
“Vladimir Putin and the Russian officials doing his bidding must face severe consequences for their destabilizing activities around the world. The announcement of the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers is the latest sign that the U.S. is fighting back against Russian aggression and nefarious global actions. This announcement comes on the heels of U.S.-imposed sanctions for election meddling. We must respond strongly to Russia – its government does not share our interests or values and has succeeded in sowing discontent in the United States and among our greatest allies. We must continue to denounce and punish Putin’s actions without hesitation,” said Lance who has also sponsored legislation to curb the Trump Administration’s discretion in enforcing anti-Russian sanctions.
Today’s expulsion order includes (1) 12 individuals previously identified as Russian intelligence officers at the United Nations in New York City and (2) shutters the Russian consulate in Seattle.
The identified Russian nationals have seven days to depart the country.
Congressman Tom MacArthur (R, NJ-03) echoed his colleague.
“Russia’s destabilizing behavior, including their attempts to influence our elections and the recent attack in England, is reckless and hostile,” said MacArthur. “Today’s actions by the United States, and our allies across the globe, send a strong message to Russia. As I have said before, Vladimir Putin is a dangerous thug. We must continue to stand with our friends in the face of Russian aggression.”
Russia responded to Monday’s big announcement with Twitter trolling, asking followers on the social media platform to vote for which U.S. consulate should be closed on Russian soil.
This latest diplomatic crisis began after a nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter living in the U.K.