The Consul General in San Francisco held a surprise news conference on Friday, expressing bitterness about the diplomats being kicked out of the consulate.
Four people Obama has classified as intelligence operatives are leaving along with seven family members, including three children. "They have to leave within hours and it's just not human, frankly, not human," Consul General Sergey Petrov.
FULL VIDEO: Consul General makes comment on sanctions against Russia
Petrov says these expulsions represent a low point in U.S.-Russia relations. "How we see our relationship between the two countries is not normal. We have to do much better," he said.
One of those being forced to get out is reportedly the chef, who apparently prepared one last party buffet for the consulate on Friday.
Petrov says the ouster of the Russians during the holidays is particularly upsetting. "Unfortunately, they have to leave without celebrating New Year's Eve, which is one of the biggest holidays in Russia."
With fewer staff, business will be impacted at the consulate. Katya Parker came for a passport on Friday. She's hoping for the best with this diplomatic flap. "Sometimes it's politics and sometimes it happens," she said.
The Russians are expected to clear out by Saturday. They'll drive to Los Angeles then fly back to Russia.
SF Russian Consul General says his staffers are "bitter" about being expelled. Pres. Obama says they're spies.. pic.twitter.com/XTosFZbyNL— carolyn tyler (@ctylerabc7) December 31, 2016
The 11 Russians expelled from the SF Consulate may drive this SUV to LAX to catch a flight to Moscow. pic.twitter.com/iiBFWNJHoO— carolyn tyler (@ctylerabc7) December 31, 2016
Russian counsel general says 4 employees and their families- total 11 people- will be leaving the country within hours. 3 are children. pic.twitter.com/gKUWqN9CH7— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) December 30, 2016
Russian counsel general in San Francisco says one of the employees leaving for Russia is the consulate chef.— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) December 30, 2016