Sen. Rand Paul delivered a letter from President Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin's staff during a trip to Moscow, the lawmaker announced Wednesday, the latest surprise diplomatic overture to the Kremlin at a time when the two countries are locked in an intensifying dispute over Russian election interference.
The White House had no immediate comment on the letter.
"The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges", Paul said in a statement. Earlier this week Paul announced that he had secured an agreement from for Russian legislators to visit the US and "continue dialogue on vital issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and combating terrorism". There has been no indication that a Putin-Paul meeting would occur.
Paul, has cheered the Kentucky senator's leadership in bringing about more diplomacy between Russian Federation and the United States.
John Bolton to Mark Levin: We're cleaning up Obama's mess in Iran
The Trump administration on Monday reimposed sanctions, with further measures set to take effect in November. Zarif said in his Wednesday remarks that the world was taking Iran's side in the face of U.S. acts.
Topics the pair negotiated during their private summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 16 included the Russian president's willingness to extend a series of landmark nuclear treaties and pursue new weapons limits, according to the leaked document.
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.
Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had planned this Russian Federation trip before the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, Finland last month, the source said.
Damani Bryant Felder, a Trump supporter, pointed out that given how prolifically leaky the administration is, if the Russians had something on Trump we would know by now.