Facebook Privacy Scandal Congress

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asks a question of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he testifies before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy will travel to Russia next week to learn more about the country following Russia’s reported medling in the 2016 presidential election and to "try to establish some rapport."

“I’m going to Russia because I want to meet with government officials and try to establish some rapport, talk about common interests and discuss common problems," Kennedy said in a statement Wednesday. " I am also interested in learning more about the Russian economy. There have been reports circulating that the people of Russia are starving because their government is spending all their money on weaponry in Syria; other reports refute that. I’d like to know what’s what.

"I also intend to talk frankly about Russia’s attempt to interfere and meddle not only in the United States’ elections but also France’s elections, the Brexit vote and the German elections," Kennedy, R-Madisonville, added.

The Washington Post first reported that Kennedy was part of a group of Republican senators traveling to Russia at the invitation of U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.

Citing Russian news agency Interfax, The New York Daily News reported that the delegation will arrive in St. Petersburg on June 30 and head to Moscow on July 3-4 for meetings with officials.

Check back with The Advocate for more details.

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Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.