Putin thanks Trump for help in foiling attack plot

Frederick Owens
December 18, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned President Trump on Sunday to thank him for a tip that stopped a potentially catastrophic bombing in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin announced. While Trump and Putin are believed to get along well, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an intelligence committee set up by the House of Representatives continue to investigate allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign team and Kremlin officials in the run-up to last year's USA presidential election.

The Kremlin said Putin told Trump during the call on Sunday that the information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency was sufficient to track down and detain a "group of terrorists" that was planning to bomb the Kazan Cathedral and other sites in the city. Trump was additionally made a request to forward Putin's thankfulness to CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the knowledge authorities who got the data.

In a phone call on Thursday, Trump and Putin discussed the crisis over North Korea's nuclear programme, and the USA leader took the unusual step of thanking his Russian opposite number for hailing the American economy.

Russian state-run media outlet TASS detailed that Moscow started the call.

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In a readout of the call released Sunday afternoon, the White House said Trump "appreciated the call" and "stressed the importance of intelligence cooperation to defeat terrorists wherever they may be".

Trump has said he brought up the charges during his two in-person meetings with Putin - one in July and another in early November - and said the Russian leader denied the alleged interference each time. On Thursday, the White House said Trump and the Russian president had discussed ways to work together in addressing North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

The leaders' relationship is complicated by ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Moscow.

The White House says United States intelligence services were pleased to have helped thwart a terrorist plot in Russian Federation that "could have killed large numbers of people".

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