When asked whether he was being sarcastic, Trump told reporters:
"In order to reduce our payroll, absolutely. I think you know that," he said.
As it was reported earlier, Trump thanked Putin for reducing the US diplomatic presence in Russia, which was the latter’s response to the new anti-Russian sanctions. "I'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll," adding "there's no real reason for them to go back."