Ryan: Putin won't get invite to address Congress

Ryan: Putin won't get invite to address Congress
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be invited to address the Congress even though President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE has extended an invitation to Putin to visit the White House.

“Well, we will certainly not be giving him an invitation to do a joint session [of Congress]. That is something we reserve for allies,” Ryan told reporters when asked if he was comfortable with Trump inviting Putin to Washington.

“I’m comfortable having presidents sit down and have one-on-ones with foreign leaders, but what I think matters is the message. And if the message is, ‘Stop meddling in our country. Stop violating our sovereignty,’ then I support that.”

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The Speaker was pressed on if he thought Trump could be firmer in delivering that message.

“I think we can always be firmer on that message,” Ryan replied, without mentioning Trump’s name.

Ryan’s remarks come a week after Trump met with the Russian president in Helsinki.

Trump drew bipartisan backlash when, during a joint press conference with Putin, he said he believed Putin’s assertion that Russia did not interfere with the 2016 presidential election, even though U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded Russia had, in fact, meddled.

Ryan has consistently stated that Putin is “not our ally” and believes Russia did try to interfere with the 2016 election, but the Speaker does not believe Russia’s meddling altered the course of the election.