Ryan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally'

Ryan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally'
© Anna Moneymaker

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP super PAC hits Dem House hopeful as 'Pelosi liberal' in new Kansas ad Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Wis.) on Monday said there's "no question" Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election after President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE refused to blame Moscow during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world," Ryan said in a statement. "That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.

"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals," he continued. "The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."

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Ryan, who is retiring from Congress at the end of his current term, has drawn criticism at times for failing to push back strongly on some of Trump's rhetoric and policies.

His statement on Monday was a stark contrast to comments Trump made during a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki.

Trump did not press or condemn Putin on the allegations of Russian interference in the election, just days after indictments were delivered against 12 Russian nationals for their alleged role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

Instead, Trump asserted that he did not collude with Russia in the election, recounted his victory over Hillary Clinton and called the special counsel investigation "ridiculous" and a source of tension between the two countries.

“My people came to me … they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be," Trump said. “But I have confidence in both parties.”

A number of Republicans, including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Flynn should lose security clearance Press needs to restore its credibility on FBI and Justice Department Trump, Obamas and Clintons among leaders mourning Aretha Franklin MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerVoters will punish Congress for ignoring duty on war and peace GOP senator reviving effort to rein in Trump on tariffs Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan MORE (R-Tenn.), were critical of Trump's performance.

"Russia is not our friend,” Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFBI chief: I'm trying to bring 'normalcy' in 'turbulent times' Jim Carrey targets McCarthy, Nunes ahead of midterms House GOP prepares to grill DOJ official linked to Steele dossier MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement.

“I am confident former CIA Director and current Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Pompeo creates 'action group' for Iran policy | Trump escalates intel feud | Report pegs military parade cost at M Pompeo announces 'Iran Action Group' to steer post-nuclear deal policy Kavanaugh has 'productive' meeting with key swing votes MORE, [Director of National Intelligence] DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsCNN: Trump intel chief not consulted before decision to revoke Brennan's clearance Study: 3 of every 10 House candidate websites vulnerable to hacks West Virginia set to allow smartphone voting for those serving overseas MORE, [U.S.] Ambassador [to the United Nations] Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTreasury retweets Trump, possibly violating campaign law UN human rights chief: Trump’s anti-press rhetoric is ‘very close to incitement to violence’ Who guards the guardians? MORE, FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court nomination reignites abortion fight in states | Trump urges Sessions to sue opioid makers | FDA approves first generic version of EpiPen Connect Beltway to America to get federal criminal justice reform done Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE and others will be able to communicate to the President it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing his electoral success," Gowdy, who is also retiring, added.