Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

US senators, on Moscow trip, invite Russian lawmakers to Washington

US senators, on Moscow trip, invite Russian lawmakers to Washington

The planned trip will mark the first time an official Russian delegation has traveled to meet with lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol in three years.

Paul's trip comes amid fresh anxiety in Congress over warnings from USA intelligence that Russian Federation is seeking to influence the midterm elections using similar tactics, such as social media campaigns, as in 2016. He was accompanied by Peter Goettler, Cato's president and chief executive, and Don Huffines, a Texas state senator who was chairman of Mr. Paul's presidential campaign in the state.

Paul announced that he had "invited members of the foreign affairs committee of Russian Federation to come to the United States to meet with us in Washington", after meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's upper house.

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"I am pleased to announced that we will be continuing this contact", Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said in Moscow.

On the second trip by United States politicians to the Russian capital in just over a month, the delegation is this time being led by high-profile Republican lawmaker senator Rand Paul.

Paul's trip comes after he was one of the few to defend President Donald Trump's news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.

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Kosachev said the visit is especially valuable as some USA representatives are attempting to treat all contacts with Russian politicians as toxic ones.

It was "opposition research", Trump said, not collusion. "All the Democrats are now happy that new sanctions are being introduced", Paul was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters earlier in the week that he wanted "a sanctions bill from hell".

"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", Paul said.

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Paul added, "your biggest issue right now there is no dialogue, issues that we can't even have discussion about because we have no dialogue". "So we're not going to get into any of the differences other than we are trying to agree to have dialogue".

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