Trump weighing return of Russian compounds seized over election meddling: report

Trump weighing return of Russian compounds seized over election meddling: report
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The Trump administration is leaning toward returning a pair of Russian diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York that were seized from the Kremlin as retribution for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Senate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg Cruz: Trump should nominate a Supreme Court justice next week MORE seized the compounds and ejected 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the country in December amid findings by the U.S. intelligence community that the Kremlin had sought to influence the election in President Trump's favor.


A former adviser to Obama told the Post that they had "no intention" of ever giving the compounds back to Russia. 

Russia reportedly did not retaliate due in part to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who indicated in a phone call to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that things would change under Trump.

The Trump administration had initially proposed returning the compounds to the Russians in exchange for permission to resume construction on a U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told top Russian diplomats last month that the return of the compounds was no longer contingent upon the consulate construction, according to the Post.

The FBI and at least four congressional committees are investigating Russia's efforts to interfere in the election, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.