Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Senator visits Russia for patch-up try

Rand Paul invites Russian lawmakers to visit US Greg Nash
Pablo Mccormick | 08 August, 2018, 23:17

Senator Paul will meet with his counterparts from the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. In June, some Texas Republicans decried President Donald Trump after his meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin, where Trump expressed doubt about the US intelligence community's consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world", Paul said in a statement.

The senator announced his planned trip just hours after President Trump concluded a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where Trump cast doubt on the USA intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

The Kentucky Republican said it was agreed that a delegation of council members would visit the US capital.

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USA intelligence agencies say Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to try to tilt the race in Trump's favor, an assertion Moscow rejects, and the two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

With Putin by his side, Trump questioned USA intelligence findings that Russians had meddled in elections and called investigations into the matter a "disaster for our country".

Background: A group of US lawmakers led by Sen.

And Paul is the only Republican lawmaker to stand by Trump during that controversy.

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Trump has repeatedly said he wants to improve relations with Russian Federation, which are severely strained.

Putin said he would be happy to meet Trump in Washington or Moscow, but the White House has since said the meeting will be postponed to 2019. "But discussions are incredibly important".

Mr. Paul was the only lawmaker on the trip, which was financed by the Cato Institute, a leading libertarian research organization in Washington.

This week, both Democratic and Republican senators introduced a bill that would impose the harshest sanctions yet on Moscow as punishment for its US election interference, as well as its activities in Ukraine and Syria. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters earlier in the week that he wanted "a sanctions bill from hell".

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"They're not going to admit it in the same way we're not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections", Paul said. "So we're not going to get into any of the differences other than we are trying to agree to have dialogue".

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