President Donald Trump’s domestic opponents on the left and right are exploiting the Russia issue for political gain at the expense of diplomatic engagement with Moscow on issues of mutual concern, Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday.
The Kentucky Republican warned that bipartisan hostility to dialogue with the Kremlin risks making Trump’s outreach to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin politically impossible, even on matters as critical as nuclear arms control.
“I think it’s important we have dialogue between the countries that contain and control 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the word,” Paul told reporters on a conference call from Russia, where he was meeting with lawmakers.
“I think the political anger by Democrats against Trump is completely destroying any opportunity to talk about issues like arms control,” he added.
Paul traveled to Moscow on Aug. 6, two days before the Trump administration announced it would sanction certain Russian goods as punishment for Moscow’s alleged involvement in the March poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent living in Britain.
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