WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States Congress is willing to consider new sanctions against Russia over its alleged interference in American elections, US House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters during a press briefing on Tuesday.
“We just conducted a yearlong investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections. They did interfere in our elections, it’s really clear. There should be no doubt about that. It’s also clear that it did not have a material effect on our elections. But as a result of that we passed tough sanctions on Russia, so that we can hold them accountable,” Ryan said.
He went on noting that Russia allegedly meddled in elections in France, Moldova and in the Baltic countries as well.
“If the Foreign Affairs Committee or the Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee think that there are other sanctions that we have not yet placed upon Russia, I am more than happy to consider those,” he added.
Meanwhile, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it is possible the Senate could take up new legislation pertaining to new anti-Russian sanctions and warned Moscow against interfering in the 2018 US mid-term elections.
The lawmakers’ statements come in the wake of the one-on-one meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, which encountered strong resentment in Washington’s political circles.
In the wake of the summit, Ryan criticized Trump for missing the opportunity to accuse Russia of the alleged meddling, stressing “that Russia is not our ally.” John Brennan, CIA head under former US President Barack Obama, called Trump’s stance “treasonous,” citing that the president’s comments during the joint press conference in Helsinki were “in the pocket of Putin.”The disappointment in Washington was prompted by Trump’s several controversial marks during his meeting with Putin, including that the United States was to blame for the poor state of bilateral relations. The US president also cast doubt on the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election, an allegation that Moscow has repeatedly denied.