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stuck in the middle with rand
July 17, 2019

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) apparently likes bringing business into his personal life.

While joining President Trump for a round of golf this weekend, Paul asked Trump to send him to meet with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, four U.S. officials tell Politico. Paul's plan, the officials say, is to soften the escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran — and Trump reportedly approved of it.

Paul's reported request just after Iran announced it violated enrichment levels set under the international nuclear deal Trump pulled the U.S. out of. Trump has responded with a so-called "maximum pressure" campaign on Tehran, which comes in the form of economic sanctions. Administration officials who support the maximum pressure move are "rankled" by Paul's apparent involvement in the deal, seeing as he's known to oppose foreign intervention, Politico reports. After all, Paul sent a letter alongside a bipartisan group of senators last month expressing concern over Trump's deployment of troops to the Middle East.

Zarif is in New York City this week for talks with the U.N., which is presumably where Paul would talk with him, Politico says. But Paul and his office have declined requests for comment, leaving the possible meeting up in the air. Read more at Politico. Kathryn Krawczyk

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