WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday called Russia “a menacing government” that does not share U.S. values and said there is no doubt that the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
“They did interfere in our elections – it’s really clear,” Ryan told reporters in Washington. “There should be no doubt about that.”
Ryan’s strongly worded remarks came the day after President Donald Trump touched off a political firestorm by accepting denials by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow interfered with the 2016 U.S. election Monday.
Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said he has seen intelligence that left no doubt that Russia interfered in the election. While it’s clear that Russian meddling didn’t have any “material effect” on the election, Congress still passed sanctions to hold the Russia accountable for its actions, he said.
Ryan said he would be open to placing more sanctions on Russia if needed.
“I understand the desire and the need to have good relations,” Ryan said. “That’s perfectly reasonable. But Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests, and it does not share our values. And I think that should be made very, very clear.”