House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, said Tuesday that “there should be no doubt” that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
The question came a day after Trump made a different assertion — that he didn’t “see any reason why” Russia would’ve interfered, and that he had “confidence” in both Putin and the the American intelligence community’s (clashing) claims about meddling.
At a press briefing Tuesday, a reporter asked if Ryan would give Trump’s press conference the same grade he’d once given former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, “catastrophically weak.”
Ryan didn’t answer that specific question, instead saying, “We stand by our NATO allies and all those countries who are facing Russia aggression.”
Putin, he said, doesn’t share American “interests” or “values.”
“We just conducted a year-long investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections,” Ryan continued. “They did interfere in our elections, it’s really clear. There should be no doubt about that. It’s also clear that it didn’t have a material effect on our elections.”
Ryan noted the “tough sanctions” Congress had passed in response to the meddling.
“I understand the desire, and the need, to have good relations,” he said. “That’s perfectly reasonable. But Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests, and it does not share our values.”
The speaker separately mentioned “those GRU officers” who were recently charged in relation to the hacking and theft of Democratic emails during the campaign.
“I’ve already seen the intelligence, they were the people that conducted this cyberattack on our elections.”
He did “not” agree with former CIA Director John Brennan’s assessment that Trump’s press conference was “treasonous,” Ryan said.
“I have not spoken to him,” he said, asked about Trump again.