Several Republican Senators Celebrated The Fourth Of July In Moscow

Several Republican Senators Celebrated The Fourth Of July In Moscow

Did you know that a delegation of Republican lawmakers spent the most American of holidays in the capital of one of America’s biggest adversaries?

This wasn’t exactly a secret, mind you. Last month, it was reported that a group of seven Republican senators and one GOP House member would be traveling to Russia this week to meet with Russian officials and lawmakers ahead of this month’s summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump. When the senators got there, however, they were hesitant to make it publicly known that they were spending Independence Day in a country that meddled in the 2016 presidential elections.

While a few eventually granted interviews to NPR’s Lucian Kim, the senators and Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX) were tight-lipped on social media and with the press while they were away from the States.

During their meetings with the Duma and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told Lavrov that Russia and America “could be competitors, we are competitors, but we don’t necessarily need to be adversaries.” He added that the Putin-Trump summit could be the beginning of a “new day.”

Meanwhile, Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov was glad they didn’t bring Democrats with them because “the Democrats actively accuse the Republicans of selling out to the Russians, it would naturally be strange if Democrats here were part of the group.”

After the meetings, which didn’t include Putin because he was “too busy” for the delegation, several of the senators made their way to the American embassy in Mosco to celebrate the Fourth with Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) sent out several tweets on July 4 indicating he spent the evening in Washington D.C., enjoying the fireworks show.

Folks on Twitter questioned whether these were photos from this year or if he was posting images from a previous Independence Day celebration, considering he was photographed the day before meeting with Russian officials. On Thursday morning, he conducted an interview with Fox News live from Washington where it was noted that the delegation had just returned from Russia.

Daines’ Senate office informed us that Daines “was in DC on the 4th.”

[Image via Lucian Kim/Twitter]

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.