Report: House leader told colleagues ‘I think Putin pays’ Pres. Trump

From left, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. meet with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (WCMH) — The Washington Post says it has obtained tape footage of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying Pres. Donald Trump.

McCarthy reportedly made the remarks during a discussion with GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” Kevin McCarthy reportedly said in mid-June 2016, referring to the then-leading presidential candidate and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Californian Republican known for defending Russia.

Kevin McCarthy
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. smiles after finishing a speech about foreign policy, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, during the John Hay Initiative, at a hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Some lawmakers present laughed, to which McCarthy said: “swear to God.” House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly told lawmakers to keep the exchange between them.

“No leaks,” he said. “This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

A Ryan spokesman initially told the Post the exchange “never happened.” When told there was a recording, the spokesman Brendan Buck said it was “clearly an attempt at humor.”

“It’s a bad attempt at a joke,” McCarthy told NBC News Wednesday night. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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