The second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives said in a recorded conversation last summer that he thought then-candidate Donald Trump was being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Spokespeople insist he made the comment in jest.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made the remark in a private conversation with fellow Republican leaders on June 15, according to the report. A month earlier, McCarthy had signed up as a Republican National Convention delegate for Trump.
The Post published a full transcript of the publication tape, but here‚Äôs the relevant portion from the original report:
‚ÄúI‚Äôll guarantee you that‚Äôs what it is‚Ä¶The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp [opposition] research that they had on Trump,‚ÄĚ McCarthy said with a laugh.
Ryan asked who the Russians ‚Äúdelivered‚ÄĚ the opposition research to.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs‚Ä¶ there‚Äôs two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,‚ÄĚ McCarthy said, drawing some laughter. ‚ÄúSwear to God,‚ÄĚ McCarthy added.
‚ÄúThis is an off the record,‚ÄĚ Ryan said.
Some lawmakers laughed at that.
‚ÄúNo leaks, alright?,‚ÄĚ Ryan said, adding: ‚ÄúThis is how we know we‚Äôre a real family here.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs how you know that we‚Äôre tight,‚ÄĚ Scalise said.
‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs said in the family stays in the family,‚ÄĚ Ryan added.https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/house-majority-leader-to-colleagues-in-2016-i-think-putin-pays-trump/2017/05/17/515f6f8a-3aff-11e7-8854-21f359183e8c_story.html?utm_term=.1a167a19b341