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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 RyanMcCarthy introduces bill to fully fund Trump's border wall On The Money: McCarthy offers bill to fully fund Trump border wall | US to press China on currency in trade talks | Mnuchin plans to go ahead with Saudi trip | How America's urban-rural divide is changing the Dems Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas MORE (R-Wis.) on Monday said there's "no question" Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border 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 GrahamBrunson release spotlights the rot in Turkish politics and judiciary Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance Democrats must end mob rule MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump defends 0B US arms sale to Saudi Arabia Cornyn: 'All the money in the world' won't help O'Rourke win Texas Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance MORE (R-Tenn.), were critical of Trump's performance.

"Russia is not our friend,” Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyHouse GOP sets deposition deadline for Fusion GPS co-founder Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant Comey rejects request for closed-door interview with House Republicans 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 PompeoPastor prays for Trump to have 'supernatural wisdom' Brunson release spotlights the rot in Turkish politics and judiciary Kim Jong Un has major powers falling for his flirtations MORE, [Director of National Intelligence] DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Lawmakers seeking intel on alleged Saudi plot against journalist It’s not just foreign state-owned telecom posing a threat  MORE, [U.S.] Ambassador [to the United Nations] Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump unsure if Mattis will stay: 'He's sort of a Democrat' Nikki Haley achieved historic accomplishments, just like the many women in Trump's administration Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat MORE, FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump unsure if Mattis will stay: 'He's sort of a Democrat' Will Sessions use indefinite mandatory detention to reduce the demand for asylum hearings? Chicago sues Trump admin for withholding police funding over sanctuary city policies 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.