House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was captured on an audio recording telling House colleagues including House Speaker Paul Ryan that “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”
Before the conversation, McCarthy and Ryan had emerged from separate talks at the Capitol with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions….
When initially asked to comment on the exchange, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, said: “That never happened,” and Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, said: “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.”
After being told that The Post would cite a recording of the exchange, Buck, speaking for the GOP House leadership, said: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.”
“This was a failed attempt at humor,” Sparks said.
Read the transcript HERE.