Rand Paul says he delivered a letter from Trump to Putin
Rand Paul says he delivered a letter from Trump to Putin
09 August, 2018, 06:27
At a joint press conference, Trump refused to condemn Putin and cast doubt on the USA intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.
Jeremy Montanezsaid he was bothered by Trump being "a suck-up to Vladimir Putin, because obviously that country has something on him".
Trump has sought to ease tensions between the former Cold War foes despite friction in the relationship that was exacerbated by USA intelligence findings that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election, trying to tilt the outcome to Trump. Paul said he had invited them to Washington.
The delivery of the letter comes just three weeks after the Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin that was pilloried by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
The Kentucky conservative said the letter emphasized "the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges".
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that a letter from Trump to Putin had been delivered by diplomatic channels, the Interfax news agency reported. However, he undermined those remarks when he quickly returned to calling the special counsel's investigation a "witch hunt", and referred to Russian interference as a "hoax".
Paul remained supportive of Trump following the US President's performance during a news conference with Putin in July.
The senator met with members of the Russian parliament's upper house who serve on the foreign affairs committee Monday.
Last week, Trump's national security team said Russian Federation is behind "pervasive" attempts to interfere in the November midterm elections, rejecting denials that Putin made directly to Trump. Trump's top intelligence official, Dan Coates, has said he is still in the dark about what Trump discussed with Putin in their tête-à-tête in Finland.
The meeting last month was also attended by the Russian Foreign Ministry and a U.S. delegation led by Thomas Pickering, former Undersecretary of State.
Paul's colleagues in the Senate from both parties introduced legislation last week to impose strict new sanctions on Russian Federation.
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