Ryan dodges questions about Trump Jr.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Ocasio-Cortez calls out Steve King, Liz Cheney amid controversy over concentration camp remarks Democrats talk up tax credits to counter Trump law MORE (R-Wis.) dodged questions Wednesday about Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised she had incriminating information about his father’s presidential rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE.

The speaker reiterated that it was “absolutely unacceptable” for Russia to interfere in U.S. elections and called himself a “Russia hawk.”

Asked whether he had concerns about Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Kremlin-connected attorney, Ryan sidestepped the question and shifted the focus back to Russia, which the U.S. Iintelligence community has determined interfered in the 2016 election.


“It is absolutely unacceptable that Russia or any other country, but Russia, meddle in our elections. Just period. Right there,” said Ryan, who noted that Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate intelligence committees are probing all aspects of the Russia situation.

“I think it’s very important that these professionals and these committees do their job so we can get to the bottom of this,” he told reporters at a news conference in the Capitol.

When another reporter followed up and asked whether Ryan would have taken a meeting with a Russian official who offered opposition research on a political opponent, the Speaker replied: “I’m not going into hypotheticals.”

“As you all know, I supported Bob Mueller being appointed special counsel. And I think we need to let him and his team and our investigators here follow these leads wherever they may go and follow the facts.”

Trump Jr. released a bombshell chain of emails Tuesday detailing how he came to meet with a lawyer allegedly connected to Russia.

The meeting in early June 2016 with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya included Trump Jr. and two central figures in President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE’s campaign: his son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The emails with music publicist Rob Goldstone show Trump Jr. was lured into the meeting by the offer of “incriminat[ing] information about Hillary Clinton from Russian government sources.”