GOP Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said on Wednesday that he delivered a letter from President Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his weeklong trip to Moscow.
“The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges,” Paul said in a statement.
I was honored to deliver a letter from President Trump to President Vladimir Putin’s administration. The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 8, 2018
The letter was reportedly given to representatives of Putin. Paul met this week with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Relations, and invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington, D.C.
He also met with former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, saying he understood the “critical necessity of engagement” between the United States and Russia.
Paul, who has emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal allies on Russia, recently voted against a round of Russian sanctions last year and also blocked a resolution last month from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to support the intelligence community’s findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and back Trump sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller.
“We should stand firm and say, ‘Stay the hell out of our elections,’ but we should not stick our head in the ground and say we’re not going to talk to them,” Paul said from the Senate floor.