- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Despite bipartisan backlash, former Republican Rep. Ron Paul echoed his son’s praise of President Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin, calling it “significant diplomacy” that was “very worthwhile.”

“I would say that this was significant diplomacy,” Mr. Paul, a libertarian and former Republican presidential candidate, said Monday on his web show “Liberty Report.”

“It has to be that the neocons aren’t very happy because Trump sounded pretty reasonable,” he added. “And I think Trump won on this. And I don’t think Putin was seen in a bad light.”

Mr. Paul said the problems with Russia still exist, but just talking to Mr. Putin “face to face” made Mr. Trump’s Helsinki meeting “very worthwhile” and signaled a positive step in improving relations.

“I was delighted to see them go through, have the press conference, and my guess is there will probably be a lot of nitpicking,” he said. “I don’t think CNN and MSNBC and these other stations will come and say, ‘You know what? Trump did better than we expected. Maybe this is a good sign.’”

“I think the world didn’t suffer from the summit and hopefully is can be a beginning rather than an end,” he added.

Mr. Paul’s son, Republican Sen. Rand Paul, similarly broke with his party’s criticism of Mr. Trump’s meeting and subsequent press conference, saying it’s important to have ongoing communication with America’s enemies.

“I think it was a good thing that President Trump met with President Putin and I think it’s a mistake for people to turn this into a partisan escapade,” the Kentucky senator said.

Mr. Trump thanked the senator on Twitter Tuesday for defending his performance

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