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.
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.