Rand Paul Defends Trump on Russia

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Posted: Jul 17, 2018 8:22 AM
Rand Paul Defends Trump on Russia

While President Trump has faced widespread backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike over his performance at the Helsinki Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin—not everyone was displeased. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in fact, liked much of what Trump had to say.

“It’s gotten so ridiculous that someone has to stand up and say we should try to engage even our adversaries and open up our lines of communication,” Paul, who’s set to travel to Russia next month to continue talks, told Politico. "We’re going to talk to the president about some small steps in order to try to thaw the relations between our countries.” 

He brushed aside criticism Trump received from within the GOP as nothing more than “Trump derangement syndrome.”

“Republicans that are making the criticism are either the pro-war Republicans like (Sen. John) McCain and (Sen. Lindsey) Graham or the anti-Trump ones like (Sen. Ben) Sasse,” he said. “They are motivated by their persistent and consistent dislike of the president.”

Mitt Romney called Trump’s performance “disgraceful” while McCain said the meeting with the Russian leader was a “tragic mistake.”

“We have a lot of areas ... we should be talking about [with Russia],” Paul said. “We won’t get anywhere on it if we just say we want ... to put more sanctions on them and tomorrow they’ll surrender and do what we want.”

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Among the areas Paul hopes to make progress on during his upcoming trip include the Syrian civil war, the denuclearization of North Korea, and Russian troops in Ukraine.

Update: Paul's comments did not go unnoticed by President Trump, who thanked the Kentucky senator Tuesday morning on Twitter.