Sen. Rand Paul says he delivered Trump letter to Putin

Rand Paul deflects Russia meddling questions

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Paul said in a statement on Wednesday.

Trump was widely criticized in the US for his performance at the Helsinki summit as he appeared to embrace Putin's denial that Russia had interfered in the election, equating the Russian leader's stance with the USA intelligence community's finding that Russia had sought to help Trump win.

Putin has denied that Russian Federation tried to influence the 2016 presidential election after the USA intelligence community concluded Russian Federation interfered through cyber attacks and social media in a bid to boost Trump's candidacy.

One White House official emphasized that the document is a draft and that it could change but said it showed Trump is intent on safeguarding US elections.

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The White House later clarified that it was written as a means of introduction for the senator, who wanted to meet with Mr. Putin.

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

The president faced fierce bipartisan criticism for days after he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. However, he undermined those remarks when he quickly returned to calling the special counsel's investigation a "witch hunt", and referred to Russian interference as a "hoax".

Paul, a member of the party's conservative wing who frequently takes antiwar positions, on Monday invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington to discuss nuclear nonproliferation and terrorism.

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The topics that Paul said were included in the letter are things Paul wished to discuss with Putin, not topics Trump asked him to raise with Putin, the official told CNN.

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

The draft of the order viewed by the Post would allow the US government to impose sanctions on any foreign individual or entity that sticks their nose in a USA election.

Last Thursday, Rubio and Van Hollen, noting the "urgency of the challenge before our nation", wrote to the chairmen of the Senate Banking and Foreign Relations committees pressing them to hold hearings on the legislation before the start of an early August recess.

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