Good afternoon, everyone. Separately as many of you saw, the president ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. This action is a response to Russia's use of a military grade chemical weapon in the United Kingdom, and was taken in conjunction with our allies and partners around the world, including more than a dozen countries in the EU and Nato and others around the world.
Today's actions make the United States safer by reducing Russia's ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations and threaten America's national security. With these steps, the US and our allies and partners around the world make clear to Russia that actions have consequences. The poisoning in the UK that has kind of led to today's announcement was a very brazen action. It was a reckless action. It endangered not just two individuals who were poisoned, but many civilians, many innocent civilians.