Mikhail Svetlov/ Olivier Douliery/Getty Images
Now playing
02:42
Republicans balk at Trump's defense of Russia
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Now playing
02:16
Trump slams probe 'hoax' despite intel warning
Now playing
02:23
Russian pop star trolls Trump in music video (2018)
Trump WH 5
CNN
Trump WH 5
Now playing
01:31
Trump: It is possible I will meet with Putin
Now playing
01:06
Toobin calls Giuliani claim 'corrupt and unethical'
CNN
Now playing
00:54
Giuliani: Stop the possibility of impeachment
Getty Images
Now playing
03:03
GOP members slam Trump's Russia comments
CNN
Now playing
01:38
Giuliani: Trump has right to know FBI source
Now playing
01:21
Trump says 'disgraceful' if FBI spied on campaign
Now playing
01:34
Trump lawyers seek to limit Mueller interview
CNN
Now playing
02:45
Page: Never found anything unusual about FBI source
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08:  Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:08
Comey: Trump won't criticize Putin, even in private
UNTV
Now playing
02:27
Nikki Haley: I don't get confused
US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV        (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:03
Russia reacts to Trump's Syria strike tweets
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:26
US hits Putin allies with new sanctions

Story highlights

Ryan said Trump's eagerness to work with the Kremlin was 'logical'

Ryan, like much of the GOP, has long adopted a hawkish stance toward Russia

(CNN) —  

House Speaker Paul Ryan believes President Donald Trump’s attempt to mend relations with Russia is understandable yet doomed to fail.

“What the President is trying to do is not unlike what the past two presidents did with Russia. I just don’t think it’s going to work,” Ryan told PBS in an interview aired Wednesday. “New administrations do this.”

Ryan said Trump’s eagerness to work with the Kremlin was “logical” – pointing to efforts by both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama White Houses to similarly soothe tensions – but ultimately misguided.

Ryan, like much of the GOP, has long adopted a hawkish stance toward Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Trump has upended that orthodoxy, arguing that the US and Russia could find agreement on ways to combat ISIS.

And Trump’s personal relationships to Russia have come under greater scrutiny since intelligence agencies disclosed that Russia was behind attempts to intrude on the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion Trump has been slow to admit.

“Can we help steer Russia to being something that doesn’t conflict with our interests – and something that aligns with our interests?” Ryan said. “I’m not going to hold my breath on that.”