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Trump thanks Putin for remarks on strong US economy

President Donald Trump speaks on tax reform in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in Washington. Trump also thanked Russian President Valdimir Putin for comments made praising Trump for the state of the U.S. economy. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
President Donald Trump speaks on tax reform in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in Washington. Trump also thanked Russian President Valdimir Putin for comments made praising Trump for the state of the U.S. economy. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for remarks he made Thursday “acknowledging America’s strong economic performance,” the White House said.

The two presidents spoke by phone following Putin’s annual press conference in Moscow.

They discussed ways to work together to address North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic weapons program, the White House said.

In an equally brief statement, the Kremlin said in addition to North Korea, Trump and Putin discussed relations between their two countries and agreed to stay in contact. The Kremlin made a point of noting that Trump initiated the call.

During his remarks in Moscow, Putin accused those investigating potential collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign of damaging the U.S. political situation, “incapacitating the president and showing a lack of respect to voters who cast their ballots for him.”

Asked to assess Trump’s first year in office, Putin said he has had “some fairly serious achievements,” pointing specifically to the sharp rise in U.S. stock markets.

“This indicates the confidence of investors in the American economy. This indicates they have confidence in what President Trump is doing in this sphere,” Putin said. “With all due respect to those in opposition to President Trump in the United States, these are objective factors.”`

Putin also warned the U.S. against using force against North Korea. Trump has repeatedly said that all options remain on the table.

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