Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Rand Paul says he gave Putin a letter from Trump seeking cooperation

Rand Paul says he gave Putin a letter from Trump seeking cooperation

CNN has reached out to Paul's office and the White House for more details.

A US senator says he has delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for more talks and exchanges between the two countries.

Sen. Rand Paul, one of the few Republicans who has championed President Trump's outreach to Russia, has gone even further to solidify ties: he's delivered a letter from Trump to Russian president Vladimir Putin's administration.

The delivery of the letter comes just three weeks after the Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin that was pilloried by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Kremlin has not yet examined the letter Paul presented.

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"At Senator Paul's request, President Trump provided a letter of introduction".

Christopher J. Gagin, who revealed he was the Republican Party chairman from OH who resigned after the Helsinki summit, pointed out that Trump defended Putin's denials of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges", Paul said.

Last week, Trump's national security team said Russian Federation is behind "pervasive" attempts to interfere in the November midterm elections, in a rejection of denials of meddling that Putin made directly to Trump.

The president later corrected some of his remarks, saying he misspoke.

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Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met earlier in the week in Moscow with members of Russia's upper house of parliament and invited them to Washington.

The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

Paul (R-Ky.) never secured a meeting with the Russian president.

Paul's colleagues in the Senate from both parties introduced legislation last week to impose strict new sanctions on Russian Federation.

Banning the banks. The draft bill proposes banning Russia's biggest state banks - Sberbank, VTV Bank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, or Vnesheconombank - from operating inside the United States, which would effectively prevent these institutions from conducting dollar settlements.

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