"We would love to have [Putin's] help on North Korea", said Trump. Goldstone's client, Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, had wanted Trump to attend his father's birthday celebration. Describing his conversation with Putin, Trump said it was "great". "China is helping. Russian Federation is not helping".
Agalarov's attorney told the Post that the pop star was not aware his publicist dangled the possibility of meeting Putin.
The White House said Mr Trump spoke with Mr Putin by phone, and thanked him "for acknowledging America's strong economic performance in his annual press conference".
The White House added that both "discussed working together to resolve the very risky situation in North Korea". He shrugged off accusations that Russia's ambassador to the United States had done something wrong saying it was "international practice" for diplomats to contact all candidates in an election.
In his press conference Mr Putin accused those investigating potential collusion between Russian Federation and Mr 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". But Russia is inextricably linked to any discussions regarding North Korea, so Trump also doesn't have much of a choice. "Why does it all have to take on some tint of spymania?" he said. Tillerson suggested there would be no nuclear-related preconditions to talks with North Korea, but the White House swiftly rebuked his claim.
Putin has called on the nations to cooperate to tackle the North Korean threat, but warned the U.S. not to carry out a massive strike. Beijing has made overtures to Pyongyang in this regard, but has so far been unsuccessful in convincing Kim that stepping away from his nuclear program would be in North Korea's best interests.