"I was honored to deliver a letter from President Trump to President Vladimir Putin's administration."
Republican Senator Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin that "emphasized the importance of further engagement."
Paul -- who is visiting Moscow this week -- tweeted that he was honored to deliver the letter to Putin's administration.
I was honored to deliver a letter from President Trump to President Vladimir Putin’s administration. The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 8, 2018
The letter, obtained by CNN, calls for more engagement between the two countries.
"Senator Paul would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss several topics," it read. "He is interested in legislative exchanges, parliamentary dialogue and cultural and educational exchange programs, increased counter-terrorism cooperation, building on recent successes like the disruption of the St. Petersburg plot and resolution of the military conflicts in Syria and Ukraine."
Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that the letter was given to Putin through "diplomatic channels."
Paul defended Trump after his meeting with Putin last month in Helsinki. The president was criticized by members of both parties for refusing to blame Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. Some critics, including f
Trump spoke with Paul numerous times leading up to the Senator's visit to Moscow, a source told CNN.
The White House said on Wednesday that the intent of the letter was to introduce Paul to Putin.
"At Senator Paul's request, President Trump provided a letter of introduction," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement. "In the letter, the president mentioned topics of interest that Senator Paul wanted to discuss with President Putin."
Last month Putin announced that he invited Trump to Russia for a second face-to-face meeting.
Trump had originally invited Putin to the US this fall but then said the meeting would be delayed.