US & World

US expels 60 Russian diplomats, closes consulate in Seattle

U.S. President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office to the Marine One helicopter as he departs for Mar-A-Lago from the South Lawn of the White House on March 23, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office to the Marine One helicopter as he departs for Mar-A-Lago from the South Lawn of the White House on March 23, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Updated 6:35 a.m., PT

President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in the Seattle, the White House announced Monday.

The move follows the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

The officials and their families have been given seven days to leave the U.S. Of the 60 officers being expelled, 48 are members of the Russian embassy and 12 are officers from Russia's mission to the United Nations in New York.

The consulate in Seattle is being shuttered due to its proximity to a U.S. submarine base and Boeing's operations there, a senior administration official said. Russia has been given the deadline of April 2 for its closure.

"The United States takes this action in conjunction with our NATO allies, and partners around the world in response with Russia's use of a military grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom — the latest in its ongoing pattern of destabilizing activities around the world," the official said.