Trump thanks Putin for cutting US diplomatic staff

President Trump said he is "very thankful" Vladimir Putin expelled more than 700 U.S. embassy workers and denied reports he is considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
5:17 | 08/11/17

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Transcript for Trump thanks Putin for cutting US diplomatic staff
North Korea one of the many topics trump took on yesterday. He also continued his public battle with Mitch Mcconnell saying it's a disgrace Obamacare is still in place and challenging him to get to work and get it done or else. A lighter tone with Vladimir Putin. Instead of criticizing him for retaliating, he offered sarcastic thanks saying Putin's move will cut the payroll and save a lot of money. The president promised to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. A whole lot there and Cecilia Vega on hand for all of it. Good morning, Cecilia. Hi, George, good morning to you. This was really something. We haven't seen the president like this since February, his last press conference. This wasn't a full press conference, a limited number of white house press corps was there. But the president took question after question despite his aides calling for a wrap, he kept going. On vacation at his bedminster golf club in his most extensive exchange with reporters in months. Any questions? Yes. Reporter: President trump taking questions and raising eyebrows when he thanked Russia's Vladimir Putin for expelling more than 700 embassy workers in retaliation for new sanctions. 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. There's no real reason for them to go back. Reporter: As for whether he plans to fire Robert Mueller, he says, he hasn't given it any thought. I've been reading about it from you people. You say I'm going to dismiss him. No, I'm not dismissing anybody. Reporter: About that FBI raid at his former campaign chairman's home president trump says he was surprised. I thought it was a very, very strong signal or whatever. I've always known him as a good man. I thought it was a very, you know, they do that very seldom. So I was surprised to see it. Reporter: The president also not backing down on his very public criticism of senate majority leader Mitch Mcconnell. I'm very disappointed in Mitch. Reporter: Earlier Mcconnell fired off a critique of his own. The new president hasn't been in this line of work before and I think had excessive expectations. Reporter: Button 0 the steps of his clubhouse the president kept it going hinting that Mcconnell might consider stepping down. If he doesn't get repeal and replace done and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, then you can ask me that question. Reporter: So let's go back to the Russia probe. We learned congressional investigators want to question the president's longtime personal secretary Rona Graff and moved into that role in the white house and primary point of contact for anyone looking to get in touch with the president and her film was on that e-mail chain about that trump tower meeting between don junior, others and that Russian lawyer. Thanks very much. Let's talk about it with Matthew dowd and obviously, Matt, the president had a lot to get off his chest. Remarkable to see him tougher on Mitch Mcconnell than on Vladimir Putin. Yeah, watching that press conference yesterday I was struck by two things. One it's like a dear diary, Mitch, bad. Putin, good or queen in snow white where she says mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all and goes on a long rift. No explanation of what he's doing with Mitch Mcconnell or what he said about Vladimir Putin basically saying better things about Vladimir Putin than he did about Mitch Mcconnell but we've seen this before. There was no rational explanation -- He needs Mcconnell to get his agenda through. Even if Mitch Mcconnell is at fault in the course of this, if he wants to get any of this done, I don't actually understand Donald Trump is on the golf krors probably at the turn getting a cheeseburger as he goes to the second 9 telling Mitch Mcconnell he needs to get back to work. It makes no rational sense. He was having security meetings with his whole team as well. He does appear to resist being handled either by the new chief of staff general Kelly or his press secretary. One more question and he kept going. He's been caged up then somebody let him off. He didn't want to go back and was free-wheeling. He took a lot of questions on a lot of different topics but I don't think it settled anybody down or the world down and I will say one he was honest about one thing, the world has never seen something like this. He's right about that. One major piece of policy declaring a national emergency on the opioid crisis. Many Americans -- I had a sister who died from opioid addiction who left three young children behind. Fundamentally, they have to decide is it a funding problem where they'll give more to medicaid to solve this or make a lot more law enforcement which I don't think will solve the problem and there seems to be a real debate on that. Also on Sunday I'll sit down with an interview with Anthony scaramucci, his first after that whirlwind ten days after white house communications director.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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