President-Elect Donald Trump Calls Vladimir Putin 'Very Smart'

Putin is delaying retaliation after the U.S. expelled 35 Russian operatives.
3:34 | 12/31/16

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Transcript for President-Elect Donald Trump Calls Vladimir Putin 'Very Smart'
year. We begin with the exchange between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Mr. Trump calling the Russian leader very smart. Putin surprising the white house, refusing to retaliate for the payback for the election-related hacks. Putin saying he will wait for the president-elect to take office before making his next move. Here's Mary Bruce. Reporter: Russian diplomats tonight are on the move, packing up and shipping out, after president Obama shut down two Russian compounds. And the clock is ticking for dozens of diplomats and their families. Russia sending a plane to pick them up. They have to leave within hours. It's just not human. Reporter: And as the parade of moving vans rolls out, president-elect trump is praising Russian president Putin for his restrained response. Trump calling it "A great move. I always knew he was very smart." The Russians had promised to retaliate. The foreign minister this morning calling for a tit for tat expulsion of U.S. Diplomats from Russia. But then, in stepped president Putin, with a shocking 180. There will be no counterpunch. Saying in a statement, "We will not create any problems for U.S. Diplomats. We will not expel anyone." Instead of an eviction, an invitation. Putin welcoming "All children of the U.S. Diplomats accredited in Russia to the new year and Christmas children's show at the Kremlin." Experts say Putin may be playing the long game, hoping a president trump will be more receptive. That was staged. It was intended to show that Mr. Putin could be magnanimous, that he could be above it all, but again, the goal of that message was not the Obama white house, it's the incoming administration and Mr. Trump. Reporter: The president-elect, who has repeatedly questioned if Russia was behind the hacking, says it's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think computers have complicated our lives very greatly. Reporter: Tonight, some members of congress blasting trump for praising Putin. The top Democrat on the house intelligence committee tweeting, "Putin is smart. Knows he can get much of what he wants from Donald Trump through little more than flattery. Sad, and dangerous." Our Linzie Janis was there as the punishment came down. Cars were coming in and out of this property all morning before the U.S. Government closed down these Gates. Neighbors say the Russians who used this property were quiet and kept to themselves. Reporter: Inside those Gates, this decadent mansion had become a hub for gathering secret intelligence. On the Maryland shore, a similar lavish retreat, 45 prime acres with a swimming pool and tennis courts. These ornate rooms used for meetings and parties, and allegedly for spying. Tonight, both properties now off-limits. And Mary joins us live from the white house tonight. With the world watching his every move, president-elect trump has tweeted again tonight? Reporter: That's right. He sent out another tweet, this time criticizing some of the

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