House Majority Leader McCarthy in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump

The Washington Post uncovered a recorded conversation from June 2016 during which House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying Donald Trump.
Trump and Putin Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

In the middle of the controversy surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged campaign ties to Moscow, it was revealed on Thursday morning that a month before Trump was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, a senior Republican official said that he believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying Trump.

According to the Washington Post, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said during a private conversation a year ago that was recorded: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: [Rep. Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump.” Rohrabacher is known in Congress as a vehement defender of Putin and Trump.

Some of those present during the discussion laughed after McCarthy’s comment. McCarthy responded by saying: “Swear to God.” House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was part of the conversation, quickly intervened and stopped the conversation from continuing in the direction of McCarthy’s comment. He even swore those present to secrecy. “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here,” he said.

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