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 RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) on Monday said there's "no question" Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election after President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' 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 GrahamRepublicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Senators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.), were critical of Trump's performance.

"Russia is not our friend,” Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy 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 PompeoMike PompeoState Department watchdog probing whether Trump aides took gifts meant for foreign officials Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary Biden slips further back to failed China policies MORE, [Director of National Intelligence] DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race Cyber preparedness could save America's 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' MORE, [U.S.] Ambassador [to the United Nations] Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyUS rejoins UN Human Rights Council, reversing Trump exit Smarkets betting site makes Trump favorite in 2024 Nikki Haley gets lifetime post on Clemson Board of Trustees MORE, FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability 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.