Rand Paul says he delivered a letter from Trump to Putin

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The White House later released its own statement underscoring that the letter was "introductory" and written at the request of Paul.

Jeremy Montanez said he was bothered by Trump being "a suck-up to Vladimir Putin, because obviously that country has something on him".

Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said on Wednesday he delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, but the senator and the White House offered different characterizations of the message.

Paul has been one of the president's most vocal defenders in recent weeks, defending Trump for appearing to accept Putin's denials of USA election interference.

Both Trump and Putin have invited each other to their respective capital cities in the aftermath of last month's Helsinki summit between the two leaders.

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U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16.

At a rally in OH last weekend, the president said other countries are trying to interfere in US elections, suggesting that China, Iran and North Korea could be responsible in addition to Russian Federation.

Paul, who defended Trump in the wake of his summit with Putin last month in Helsinki, has been visiting Russian Federation with a delegation for several days.

The White House pushed back against Sen.

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

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But Peskov said the Kremlin had not familiarized itself with the contents.

Trump sparked outrage by largely accepting Putin's word over that of his intelligence agencies at the Helsinki news conference.

He also held talks in Moscow with parliamentarians and pledged to block new sanctions against Russian Federation.

On Monday, Sen. Paul announced that Russian lawmakers have agreed to visit the U.S. Capitol, which would be the first time in three years that a Russian delegation did so.

A reported text of the draft bill published Wednesday sent Russia's ruble to lows against the dollar last seen in April.

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