Putin thanks Trump for helping foil terrorist acts | Daily News

Putin thanks Trump for helping foil terrorist acts

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

RUSSIA: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has thanked US counterpart Donald Trump for intelligence that helped foil “acts of terrorism” on Russian soil, according to a Kremlin statement.

Putin and Trump spoke on the phone on Sunday, it said.

The Kremlin said the information came via intelligence services, but it provided no further details.

Russian media is reporting the discovery of a plot to attack St Petersburg over the new year period.

Tass news agency says two Russian nationals have been arrested and plans to attack a mass gathering were seized, according to a spokesperson from the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency.

Putin and Trump have spoken on the phone and in person various times since the latter took office.

Records from the conversations show they have often talked about Syria, as well as nuclear agreements, North Korea and trade.

In December 2017, Putin thanked Trump for another warning from US intelligence agencies, which again apparently prevented a terrorist plot in St Petersburg, according to a White House account.

During that call, the Kremlin said Putin had promised to reciprocate with information about terrorist threats to the United States.

Relations between Washington and Moscow plummeted after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from neighbouring Ukraine in 2014.

Ties were further strained when US intelligence agencies concluded that the Kremlin had interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Despite this, President Trump and President Putin have appeared to be on good terms personally - and they have vowed to co-operate on terrorism.

Trump has indicated he is considering attending the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow next May, after an invitation from the Russian leader.

Both countries have felt the threat of the Islamic State group.

In 2015, the group admitted downing a Russian passenger plane shortly after its take-off in Egypt - an attack that killed 224 people.

It is unknown whether those recently arrested in Russia have any links to a wider group.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump faced calls from his own party to show more restraint on Twitter amid a storm of outrage Sunday over the president revealing the name of a man widely thought to be the whistleblower who triggered his impeachment.

Criticism has been growing since Trump retweeted an attack that included the name of the reported CIA staffer at the heart of the Ukraine scandal -- an act that could violate the whistleblower’s guaranteed anonymity under the law.

“If the president would tweet a little bit less, it wouldn’t cause brain damage. But the president does not have to take my advice, nor do I expect him to,” Republican Senator John Kennedy, a key Trump ally, told “Fox News Sunday.” Trump is ending 2019 as the third president in US history to be impeached after pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a rival in his 2020 reelection bid.

The historic rebuke by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives for abuse of office and obstruction of Congress is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate in a trial expected to begin in January.

But Trump, who is reportedly eager to celebrate his acquittal, has appeared increasingly frustrated that no date has been set for the trial amid a partisan standoff over its rules.

The president spent much of Friday amplifying pro-Trump and anti-Democrat tweets from suspicious-looking Twitter accounts at the start of what would become a weekend-long rant against the impeachment process. The incendiary whistleblower retweet was no longer visible in the president’s timeline by Saturday morning, although it was not clear who had removed it.

Political action group The Democratic Coalition tweeted Sunday that “while Trump has repeatedly backed efforts to unmask the whistleblower, his retweet marks the first time he has directly sent the alleged name to his 68 million followers.” - AFP

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