The lead headline on the Washington Post’s web page right now is: “Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia.” The story isn’t earth-shattering but has the virtue of enabling the Post to write a lead headline that includes “Putin” and “Trump.”
Post reporter David Filipov characterizes Putin’s call as “unusual.” He says “countries share intelligence all the time, but presidents rarely publicly thank one another for it.”
In this case, though, the intelligence the U.S. supplied enabled the Russians to thwart a terrorist attack. Seven members of an Islamic State cell reportedly had planned a suicide bombing this weekend at Kazan Cathedral, a St. Petersburg landmark located on Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main thoroughfare.
Putin told Trump that the information provided by the CIA allowed Russian law enforcement agencies to capture the terrorists just before the planned attack. Lives were saved as a result.
Is it unusual for the leader of one country to thank the leader of another country in these circumstances? Probably not. Filipov provides no evidence that it is.
Filipov notes that this was the second conversation between Trump and Putin in the last few days. Filipov says that during the first call, Trump thanked Putin for remarks he made “acknowledging America’s strong economic performance.”
The reader is left with the impression that this is what the call was about. In fact, though, Trump and Putin also discussed the small matter of North Korea and its nukes. Russia’s state-run Kremlin news service reported that there was “an emphasis placed on settling the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.” The White House said the two sides “discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea.”
The dishonest Washington Post keeps its readers in the dark (or should I say darkness?) about this important fact.
There is no reason why Trump and Putin shouldn’t be talking. There is no reason why they shouldn’t talk about North Korea, which probably poses the greatest threat to America’s security right now. There is no reason why Putin shouldn’t thank Trump for information that likely saved Russian lives and preserved a national treasure.
There is no reason, other than raw hatred of Trump, why the Washington Post should treat Putin’s latest call to Trump as “unusual” or provide a misleading account of Trump’s latest call to Putin.
When it comes to President Trump, if it misleads it leads at the Washington Post.