Trump initiated Putin call in the wake of economic praise

President Donald Trump said Friday that ...

Posted: Dec 16, 2017 9:18 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2017 9:18 AM

President Donald Trump said Friday that he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to thank him for comments he made about the President's efforts to grow the American economy.

Trump, speaking with reporters at the White House before he left to address a graduation ceremony at the National FBI Academy, said the call was "great." He also once again denied any collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian operatives.

"He said very nice things about what I have done for this country in terms of the economy," Trump said

"We would love to have his help on North Korea. China is helping. Russia is not helping," he added

The ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's role in Russia's 2016 election meddling by special counsel Robert Mueller has loomed over the Trump administration for months, angering the President who sees the probe as nothing more than an attempt to undermine his credibility.

"He said very nice things about what I have done for this country in terms of the economy, but he said also some negative things in terms of what is going on elsewhere," Trump said. "The primary point was to talk about North Korea."

He added: "We would love to have his help on North Korea. China is helping. Russia is not helping. We would like to have Russia's help, very important."

The Kremlin said Thursday the two men discussed US-Russia ties and increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula, an issue that Putin chastised the United States for in earlier comments.

Trump's relationship with Russia has been complicated ever since the businessman-turned-politician stepped into the Oval Office in January, given the ongoing investigation into his campaign's ties to Moscow. US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia, at Putin's direction, meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia and called the investigation a "hoax."

"Let's put it this way, there is absolutely no collusion, that has been proven," Trump said in his conversation with reporters on the South Lawn. "That was a Democrat hoax, it was an excuse for losing the election and it should have never been this way where they spend all these millions of dollars."

Putin has denied those accusation, too, and Trump said last month that he believes the Russian President is sincere in those denials.

The two men last spoke in mid-November after a brief handshake and conversation during an international summit in Vietnam.

Trump has shown in his first year as president that he thrives on public praise. And world leaders have played into that.

During remarks at a marathon news conference Thursday, Putin said Trump had made some "fairly serious achievements" since he took office.

He borrowed Trump's own lines trumpeting the strength of the American economy, suggesting "investor confidence in the American economy, which means that they trust what President Trump is doing in this area."

Putin wasn't all positive those. He criticized the US approach to North Korea, calling it "counterproductive."

But Trump's comments on the South Lawn reflect a growing sense in right-wing media and among conservative lawmakers that Mueller's investigation is a bias attempt to attack Trump. Those calls grew louder earlier this week then anti-Trump text messages between top FBI employees were released to lawmakers and reporters earlier this week.

Trump, who has slammed the FBI in the past for their role in the Mueller probe, did so again on Friday.

"It's a shame what happened with the FBI," Trump said. "It is very sad when you look at those documents and how they've done that is very, very disgraceful and you have a lot of angry people that are seeing it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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