Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Donald Trump over the weekend to thank him for passing along a CIA tip the Kremlin leader says helped prevent a series of bombings in St. Petersburg.
Putin used the call, the second between both leaders in three days, to let Trump know that the tip led Russian intelligence and security services to a group of suspects who were planning to bomb Kazan Cathedral and other crowded venues this past weekend.
“The information received from the CIA proved sufficient to find and detain the criminal suspects,” the Kremlin said.
The White House’s readout of the conversation said that “based on the information the United States provided, Russian authorities were able to capture the terrorists just prior to an attack that could have killed large numbers of people.”
Putin also praised the CIA and the entire U.S. intelligence community. The White House said Trump then called CIA Director Mike Pompeo “to congratulate him, his very talented people, and the entire intelligence community on a job well done!”
“President Trump appreciated the call and told President Putin that he and the entire United States intelligence community were pleased to have helped save so many lives,” the White House said in its statement. “President Trump stressed the importance of intelligence cooperation to defeat terrorists wherever they may be. Both leaders agreed that this serves as an example of the positive things that can occur when our countries work together.”
Reports noted that Islamic extremists were behind the plot to attack the cathedral, which is an important 19th-century icon of the Russian Orthodox Church. [source]