Ryan: I’d back ‘codifying’ sanctions against Russia

Greg Nash

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he would support a bill codifying U.S. sanctions against Russia to keep them from being eroded or weakened by President Trump.

“If those sanctions were to be watered down, I would, for sure, support codifying them and making sure that they don’t get watered down,” Ryan said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Because I do believe Russia is a global menace, and their interests are not aligned with our interests.”

National security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday from his post amid reports that he discussed sanctions against Russia with the country’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and misled top White House officials about the conversations.

{mosads}Despite Ryan’s tough talk on Russia, he added that the U.S. could potentially cooperate with the Kremlin to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But, he said, the two nations’ interests would only “intersect for a period of time.”

Trump has long expressed a willingness to work with Russia in the Middle East and has spoken fondly of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last month, Trump suggested he is open to lifting sanctions against the Kremlin, though he added that they would need to stay in place for “at least a period of time.”

President Obama sanctioned Russia in December after the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. election specifically to help Trump win the White House. Agencies found that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, leading to damaging leaks.

Tags Hillary Clinton Paul Ryan Russia

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