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WATCH: Trump Cracks a Joke, The Media Loses It
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President Donald Trump’s message to the Kremlin after their decision to shut down American diplomatic missions in Russia was clear: the U.S. remains unflinching in its opposition to Russian aggression.
However, the sarcastic means that Trump chose to communicate this message, telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that he was “very thankful” for inadvertently cutting America’s diplomatic expenses, has the Republican president’s detractors in an uproar.
The joke is on you, Democrats
Responding in part to a Barack Obama-era decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats and seize their opulent Long Island compound during the last days of his administration, Putin has answered in kind by demanding that the U.S. shrink diplomatic staff working in major Russian capitals by 755 members.
The diplomatic layoffs would leave 455 U.S. personnel in place at embassies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok — the same number of Russian foreign service officers operating in America.
Trump’s first remarks on the contentious subject came on Thursday, and they were designed to show that America was unperturbed by Moscow’s hostility.
From his golf club in Westminster, New Jersey, Trump said:
I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll.
Uploaded by Washington Free Beacon on 2017-08-10.
Trump has indeed made budget cuts a cornerstone of his administration, including cuts to 66 federal programs offering savings of over $26 billion in his 2018 budget proposal. However, media establishments like The New York Times failed to see the humor behind Trump’s sarcastic remarks, accusing the president of “pulling punches” and showing favoritism to Putin by showing gratitude for the expulsion.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was forced to explain the joke to the apparently humorless newspaper staff at the Times, explaining in an email to editors that, “He was being sarcastic,” when Trump thanked Putin for saving the U.S. on diplomatic expenses.
Of course, this explanation did not stop a social media menagerie of dissenting liberals from taking to Twitter to voice their shock and outrage at their literal interpretations of Trump’s message to Putin. The collective humorlessness is painfully pervasive.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) was among the Democrats to expose their own intellectual shortcomings by questioning President Trump’s mental capacity. Earth to Sheldon Whitehouse: it’s a joke.
Earth to Trump: Putin expelling U.S. diplomats from Russia does not remove them from U.S. payroll. https://t.co/ZgwtPOzINw
British author Brian Klaas was among those on the left to see President Trump’s jest as just another sign of his collusion with the Kremlin:
1. Putin orders cyberattack on US 2. Congress sanctions Russia 3. Trump blames *Congress* 4. Putin expels US diplomats 5. Trump thanks Putin
Without actually naming any sources, liberal media mainstay Politico framed the president’s message as a huge demoralizing blow to State Department employees.
First, though, journalists Mahal Toosi and Madeline Conway revealed their complete lack of comedic appreciation by writing:
It wasn’t clear if Trump’s remarks were meant to be in jest, and he gave no solid indication either way. In any case, the comments did not go down well among employees at the State Department, where many U.S. diplomats have felt ignored and badly treated by the Trump administration.
Besides contributing to a trade deficit and an out-of-control budget deficit, liberals have collectively embraced a humor deficit when it comes to the president. And before you ask — no, Democrats, a humor deficit is not a real thing.
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