Putin won't be invited to address Congress: House speaker Paul Ryan
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin (Kremlin photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress if he visits Washington in autumn, the top Republican in the House of Representatives said on Tuesday, adding that privilege is reserved for allies.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he didn’t have a problem with U.S. President Donald Trump sitting down with Putin.

“What I think matters is the message and if the message is stop meddling in our country, stop violating our sovereignty, then I support that,” Ryan told reporters. “But it’s the message that counts.”

“We would certainly not be giving him an invitation to do a joint session,” Ryan added. “That’s something we reserve for allies.”

Reporting by Amanda Becker and Susan Cornwell; writing by David Alexander