Paul invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

The Day After Trump Admits to Attempted Collusion, Rand Paul Invites Russian Delegation to Washington

"My goal in coming to Russia is to say that we want to have open lines of communication", Senator Rand Paul (Republican-Kentucky) told journalists after a meeting with members of the International Affairs Committee in Russia's upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, on August 6.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world", said Paul in a statement. "But discussions are incredibly important, diplomacy is important", said Paul, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and a former presidential candidate.

Paul led a small delegation of Americans in a meeting at the Federation Council, Russia's equivalent of the U.S. Senate, with senators from the global relations committee. The panel is the Russian counterpart to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Paul agreed with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, to send members of the Russian Federation to D.C., which will serve as the first trip from members of the federation in almost three years.

During Monday's meeting, Paul reportedly invited Russian lawmakers to meet with more members of the U.S. Congress.

Paul's was the second unusual diplomatic overture to Russian Federation by Senate Republicans in a month, following the visit of a larger delegation led by Sen.

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

He said he opposed new sanctions legislation against Russia that was backed by a bipartisan group of USA lawmakers last week, but said he represented a minority voice, Russian news agencies reported.

Paul has nurtured a close relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and defended Trump after the president's Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.

During a news conference in Helsinki at the time, Trump declined to back the conclusion of the USA intelligence that Russian Federation interfered with the United States presidential election over Putin's denials, though Trump later said when he was back in the U.S. that he misspoke. "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", he said.

State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, met with Russian officials in Moscow on Monday, joining U.S. Sen.

Trump has invited Putin to the White House, a move largely panned by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

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