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Sen. Rand Paul invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

08 August 2018

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), emboldened by his meeting with a Russian delegation in Moscow Monday, announced that he has invited members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia to Washington.

Paul's trip comes amid fresh anxiety in Congress over warnings from US intelligence that Russian Federation is seeking to influence the midterm elections using similar tactics, such as social media campaigns, as in 2016.

Paul said he and Kosachev agreed "engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world, adding that "We agreed on the importance of continued dialogue". "I consider this to be very important." said Paul, after meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of Russia's foreign affairs committee.

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

Paul met with officials from the foreign affairs committee, with the goal of encouraging closer communications between Russian Federation and the U-S.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is in Russian Federation meeting with officials in Moscow.

He also avoided answering a question about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump's similar invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin was met with concern from members of Congress. U.S. intelligence leaders all agree that the Russian threat to American elections, especially the upcoming midterms, are serious and ongoing.

Paul, however, has stood by Trump, despite his remarks in Helsinki.

It was "opposition research", Trump said, not collusion.

Paul headed a USA delegation, which includes member of the Texas State Senate Don Huffines and representatives of the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization.

"Of course, Mr. Paul is yet to discuss these ideas with his colleagues after returning to Washington", Kosachyov said.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, after the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Putin ordered efforts to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and aid Trump.

Sen. Rand Paul invites Russian lawmakers to Washington