>> My goal in coming to Russia is to say that we want to have open lines of communication.>> Facing increasing pressure on the Russia front, President Donald Trump is finding a reliable wingman in Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. On a visit to Moscow, Paul, on Monday, invited Russian lawmakers to Washington and said he opposed more sanctions.
This seems to echo President Trump's call for warmer ties with the Kremlin, as many of his fellow Republicans in Congress are urging Trump to get tougher.>> We've had diplomacy with Russia for a long time. I think diplomacy in our discussion has gotten worse.>> Trump and Paul have clashed on some issues like defense spending but Paul has emerged as a key supporter of Trump during the ongoing Robert Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Last month, Paul came to Trump's defense when many Republicans blasted him for going too easy on Putin at their summit in Helsinki.>> I think we're all to blame.>> On Monday, Paul met with former Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, now a lawmaker, who was a key figure in the controversy around Trump and key aides from his campaign.
That includes former National Security Advisor, Micheal Flynn, who pled guilty to lying about his contacts with Kislyak during the transition. U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia interfered in the 2016 race to try to help Trump, which Russia denies. Analysts have suggested Trump is flirting with legal jeopardy with a weekend tweet about his son Don Jr.'s meeting with with a Kremlin linked lawyer at Trump Tower in summer 2016.
Trump admitting that the meeting was to get compromising information on Hilary Clinton, after initially saying it was about Russian adoptions.