Russian President Vladimir Putin has “outsmarted” his US counterpart, Barack Obama, by refraining from expelling American diplomats in response to a similar move by Washington, according to a Republican congressman.
New York Representative Lee Zeldin made the comments to CNN on Friday, after Putin rejected a foreign ministry proposal to retaliate against Obama’s decision to expel Russian diplomats.
“I do believe Putin is outsmarting President Obama with his response. He’s been allowed to take the high road, be magnanimous. It’s unfortunate. Now, we need to move forward,” Zeldin said.
He explained that the political standoff between Washington and Kremlin is “like a complicated inside baseball game.”
On Thursday, Obama ordered a series of new sanctions against Russia and expelled 35 Russian diplomats over allegations that they interfered in the US 2016 presidential election through cyberattacks. Russia denied the hacking accusations.