Donald Trump may be chummy with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but House Speaker Paul Ryan isn't a fan.
Ryan, the Republican leader in congress, didn't mince words when telling the Russian strongman to keep his distance.
“Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug," Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck wrote in a statement. "Putin should stay out of this election.”
The statement contradicts Trump's own invitation to unspecified "Russians" to release 31,830 missing emails Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ordered her attorneys to delete from her unsecured homebrew email servers before turning them over to the Department of State and the FBI.
Although Clinton did release some 30,000 emails, it was her own aides -- not the FBI or state department -- who decided which emails were personal and which were work-related.
A Politico "numeric analysis" found "conspicuous lapses in email activity" according to the time- and date-stamps of the emails Clinton's team turned over, supporting FBI Director James Comey's statements that Clinton -- despite signing documents saying she handed over all state-related messages -- did not hand over the full server archives.
Clinton's attorneys, Comey said, deleted the data in such a way that it could not be recovered by forensic methods.
But in light of the July 22 WikiLeaks trove of Democratic National Committee emails -- and Comey's own admission that hackers probably helped themselves to Clinton's unsecured servers -- Trump said he believes the missing 31,830 emails could be in the possession of hackers.
"If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!" Trump, who is fond of exclamation points, wrote on Twitter on July 27.
That tweet echoes the sentiments he expressed during an earlier news conference in Miami, in which the New York businessman beseeched Russian hackers to release the trove.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said, reports The New York Times. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman who became Speaker of the House in October of 2015 after the resignation of former Speaker John Boehner, has long been critical of Putin. In 2013 he told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he agreed with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, in characterizing Putin as "a schoolyard bully" on the international stage.
Ryan also faulted President Barack Obama for not standing up to the Russian president.
"President Putin thinks he can get away with pushing around this administration," Ryan said, "because the administration has given sort of appeasement feelings that they can do this."