President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Sunday after ISIS-inspired terror attacks against the city of St. Petersburg were thwarted by Russia’s Federal Security Service using intelligence provided by the CIA.
According to a statement from the Kremlin, Putin thanked Trump for the CIA’s information on the attacks, which were to take place on Saturday at the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg and other areas of the Russian city.
The Federal Security Service said Friday that seven members of a terror cell had been detained for their involvement in the plot, and that “a significant amount of explosives,” weapons and “extremist literature” were confiscated.
“Information obtained from the CIA was sufficient to search for and arrest of criminals,” the Kremlin statement said. Trump was also asked to forward Putin’s appreciation to CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the intelligence officials who obtained the information.
“Vladimir Putin assured Donald Trump that the Russian intelligence services upon receipt of information relating to terrorist threats against the US and its citizens, will immediately transmit to its American colleagues in partner channels,” the statement added.
Russian state-run media outlet TASS reported that Moscow initiated the call.
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.”
“Both leaders agreed that this serves as an example of the positive things that can occur when our countries work together,” the readout said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed in a tweet Sunday that the leaders had spoken and said the White House was preparing to release a readout of the call.
Sunday’s call was the second between Trump and Putin in three days. They last spoke by telephone on Thursday, when they discussed US-Russian ties and the increasing tensions surrounding North Korea.
The leaders’ relationship is complicated by ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow. US intelligence agencies have previously concluded that Russia tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help Trump get elected. Putin has denied the accusation.