Published: Wed, August 08, 2018

Rand Paul delivers Putin letter from Trump

Rand Paul delivers Putin letter from Trump

Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said on Wednesday he delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to the Russian government during a trip to Moscow.

Last month, Trump extended an invitation to Putin to come to Washington, D.C., but both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) were adamant that he would not be welcome at the Capitol.

Paul described the letter from Trump as a correspondence that "emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges".

Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has continued to meet with Russian officials in Moscow this week along with visiting the USA embassy.

Trump has pushed for easing tensions between the former Cold War foes, exacerbated by US intelligence findings that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election, trying to tilt the outcome to Trump.

CNN has reached out to Paul's office and the White House for more details. There has been no indication that a Putin-Paul meeting would occur.

Christopher J. Gagin, who revealed he was the Republican Party chairman from OH who resigned after the Helsinki summit, pointed out that Trump defended Putin's denials of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Kremlin has not yet examined the letter Paul presented.

Paul, part of the party's conservative wing who frequently takes antiwar positions, on Monday invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington to discuss nuclear nonproliferation and terrorism.

Paul has been in Russian Federation this week on a trip he sees as a continuation of Trump's diplomatic outreach to Putin.

Paul remained supportive of Trump following the US President's performance during a news conference with Putin in July. Facing public pressure, including criticism from some Republicans, Trump later said he misspoke.

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