As New Meddling Allegations Emerge, Rand Paul Invites Russian Lawmakers to Washington


Sen. Rand Paul on Monday invited Russian lawmakers to Washington after meeting Russian members of parliament in Moscow.

The chairman of the Russian global relations committee, Konstantin Kosachev, thanked Paul and said he hoped the meetings could happen before the end of the year.

"I think this is incredibly important, " Paul said after the high-profile sit-down.

US Senator Rand Paul will today become the latest member of Congress to travel to Russian Federation as part of President Trump's efforts to reengage with Moscow. That committee is the Russian equivalent of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that Paul sits on.

Paul's visit is the second time a USA political delegation has visited Russian Federation within a month.

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Background: A group of USA lawmakers led by Sen.

"The world is a complicated place, we are in close proximity to Russian Federation in Syria and other places, and I think it would be a very big mistake not to have open lines of communication", Paul said, adding that the objective of his trip was in part "to say that we need to have dialogue", including "more cultural exchange, more exchange between our legislative bodies, more open lines of communication".

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

At the beginning of July, a group of USA senators met with Russian officials ahead of the Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin.

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

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

America and Russian initiated diplomatic talks their diplomatic talks since President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, in July.

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

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

Senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, who was also in the room, reiterated the Russian position that "there was no interference in 2016", adding "there of course will not be any interference in the elections this year".

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Trump endured days of intense bipartisan criticism for his performance at a joint press conference, where he cited Putin's "powerful" denials of Russian interference.