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 RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) on Monday said there's "no question" Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election after President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House 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: Pelosi comment on Trump is 'most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (R-Tenn.), were critical of Trump's performance.

"Russia is not our friend,” Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for another week fighting the coronavirus, seek to curb fallout GOP lawmaker shows off AR-15 in office, challenges Biden to 'come and take it' Sunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses 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 PompeoUS extends waivers on Iran sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic Overnight Defense: Pentagon orders bases to stop reporting coronavirus numbers | Hospital ship arrives in NY | Marines pause sending new recruits to boot camp | Defense bill work delayed Democratic senators ask Pompeo to provide coronavirus aid to Palestinian territories MORE, [Director of National Intelligence] DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsWe weren't ready for a pandemic — imagine a crippling cyberattack GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Experts report recent increase in Chinese group's cyberattacks MORE, [U.S.] Ambassador [to the United Nations] Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyCoronavirus sets off industry scramble for aid from Washington Why Klobuchar should be Biden's vice presidential pick Overnight Defense: 'Tens of thousands' of National Guard troops could be activated for coronavirus response | Hospital ships could take week to deploy | Trump says military to help Americans stuck in Peru MORE, FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama postpones March 31 GOP Senate runoff Biden has broken all the 'rules' of presidential primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: Defiant Sanders vows to stay in race 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.