Ryan: Putin won't get invite to address Congress

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

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign Blue wave poses governing risks for Dems Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be invited to address the Congress even though President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada 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.