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Leaked document: Putin lobbied Trump on arms control

11 August, 2018, 05:38 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Leaked document reveals Putin's disarmament talks at Helsinki

The White House downplayed the significance of the letter on Wednesday, insisting that it was merely a formal introduction requested by Paul and laying out the "topics of interest that Senator Paul wanted to discuss with President Putin", deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said.

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

The delivery of the letter comes just three weeks after the Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin that was pilloried by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

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

Paul, one of the few Republicans to defend Trump's much-maligned performance at a July 16 news conference with Putin in Helsinki, said he had traveled to Moscow to encourage diplomacy.

Paul received the letter before leaving Washington and then hand-delivered it to the Russian government, the source said.

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Back in Washington, Trump clarified his remarks and has said that Russian Federation interfered, but has continued to call the claim that Russian Federation tried to help him win and Mueller's investigation "a big hoax". Putin's willingness to continue talks on nuclear weapon reductions as well as new limitations indicates an ongoing cooperation between the two nations, despite recent tensions.

CNN has reached out to Paul's office and the White House for more details.

A Kremlin spokesman confirmed that the letter was delivered and was making its way to Putin.

The Washington Post viewed a copy of the eight-page document, which may be created to send the signal that the Trump White House takes election interference seriously.

The president has called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Moscow a "witch hunt".

"Thank you for considering meeting with Senator Paul during his visit to Russian Federation". The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

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