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House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office issued a tough statement on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that warmed him to stay out of the U.S. presidential election.

“Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election,” Ryan’s spokesman Brendan Buck said in the statement.

{mosads}The strong language was notable following earlier comments from GOP nominee Donald Trump in which he said he hoped Russia had stolen emails from the private server that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton used during her time as secretary of State. Clinton deleted more than 30,000 messages that she said were personal before turning over the rest for government archiving.

“If they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday at a press conference at his Miami-area hotel. “They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted. You’d see some beauties, so we’ll see.”

Russia is believed to be behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

On Friday, days before the Democratic National Convention began, emails released by Wikileaks showed DNC aides appearing to help Hillary Clinton and hurt rival Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

“Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press,” Trump said Wednesday.

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Paul Ryan Russia
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