Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Monday said there’s “no question” Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election after President Trump 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.”
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, Finland.
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.
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SOURCE: The Hill, Brett Samuels