16:49 GMT19 September 2020
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    US House Speaker Paul Ryan said it was reasonable to try to mend ties with Russia, and opined Donald Trump was right to ask Michael Flynn to resign from the position of the national security adviser.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — It is reasonable for a US President Donald Trump’s administration to attempt to improve relations with Russia, US House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

    "New administrations these days try to get better relations with Russia…I understand it’s reasonable and rational to try and improve relations with Russia," Ryan stated. "But I’ll leave it up to the administration to describe the circumstances surrounding what brought this point."

    Ryan made these comments while responding to questions about the resignation of US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Monday night.

    "So I think the president was right to ask for his resignation and I believe it was the right thing to do," Ryan said in a press briefing.

    Ryan noted that national security is the most important job of the president, and "you can't have a National Security Advisor misleading the Vice President and others."

    Flynn announced his resignation on Monday night amid a growing controversy surrounding his conversation with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak before Trump's inauguration. In his resignation letter, Flynn noted he had not given Vice President Mike Pence complete information about his conversations with Kislyak.

    Flynn’s phone talks with Kislyak have raised questions about whether the he broke a law forbidding private US citizens from engaging with foreign nations about diplomatic disputes. Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr. has been named acting US national security adviser following Flynn's resignation.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated establishing a political dialogue with Moscow, particularly in regards to the fight against terrorism, and expressed readiness to build positive relations with Russia. Moscow has long been promoting the idea of fruitful cooperation with Washington.

    After the leaders' phone talks on January 28, the Kremlin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the presidents had noted the importance of respect in relations.


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