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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells President Vladimir Putin to strike back at President Obama's move to expel 35 Russian diplomats by removing 35 American diplomats. (Sergei Karpukhin/Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia will not expel 35 American diplomats from the country in retaliation for President Obama expelling 35 Russian intelligence officers on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed 31 American staff members be expelled from the American embassy in Moscow and four staff members be expelled from the consulate in St. Petersburg, according to a CNN report. However, the Associated Press reported about two hours later Putin refused to expel the 35 diplomats.

Obama ordered 35 Russian intelligence officers to leave the United States within 72 hours Thursday as retaliation for Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Thousands of emails were released from the DNC and Podesta in the run-up to November’s presidential election.

The administration also released a report from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation backing up its claim that Russia is responsible for the hacks.

Democrats widely blame the hacks for being one factor in Clinton’s defeat to President-elect Trump, who has rejected the intelligence community’s reports that Russia is responsible.

Trump said on Thursday it’s time to move on to “bigger and better things” than Russian hacking in the wake of Obama’s order.

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