Republican Sen. Rand Paul was once one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent GOP critics, particularly during the 2016 presidential election.
But in recent months he’s become one of the president’s biggest allies on issues relating to Russia.
During a visit to Moscow on Monday, Paul invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington, DC, expanding on Trump’s efforts to improve US-Russia relations.
Paul says his stance on Russia is simply about encouraging dialogue.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul was once one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest critics, particularly during the 2016 presidential election. But in recent months he’s become one of his biggest allies on issues relating to what has been a constant thorn in the president’s side: Russia.
In the latest example, during a trip to Moscow on Monday, Paul invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington, DC, expanding on Trump’s efforts to improve US-Russia relations.
“I am pleased to announce that we will be continuing this contact,” the Kentucky Republican said in Moscow. “We agreed and we invited members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia to come to the US to meet with us in the US, in Washington.”
Over the past several weeks, Paul has transitioned from someone who once said a “speck of dirt” would be more qualified to be president than Trump, to backing him on one of the most touchy subjects in politics today.
US Senator Rand Paul chatting to former Russian Ambassador to the USA Sergey Kislyak. Rand Paul meeting with Russian lawmakers in Moscow.#CNN #Russia #USA pic.twitter.com/dJ2Qy32hVL
— Frederik Pleitgen (@fpleitgenCNN) August 6, 2018
Paul cheered Trump’s meeting with Putin
Paul’s invitation and visit to the Russian capital came several weeks after Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, during which Trump appeared to side with the Russian leader over the US intelligence community on the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election.
Trump faced sharp criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle for his remarks in Helsinki. But Paul, who during the 2016 campaign characterized Trump as a “delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag,” was one of the only figures in Washington who defended the president.
“If there wasn’t such acute hatred for President Trump, such a ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ on the left…,” a meeting with a Russian leader could have happened sooner says Sen. @randpaul. The blow back from the meeting, “really shows people hatred for President Trump.” pic.twitter.com/ejfBwqYduz
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) July 16, 2018
“I think engagement with our adversaries, conversations with our adversaries, is a good idea,” Paul said during an interview with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer in mid-July.
“Even in the height of the Cold War, I think it was a good thing that” President John F. Kennedy “had a direct line to” Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Paul said.
Paul has also been highly critical of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.
The …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics