House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of Bakersfield, privately told his fellow party leaders last year that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump could be being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post reported Wednesday in a story that's gone viral.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” The Post reported McCarthy said on June 15, 2016. It was caught on a recording.

Rohrabacher is U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa.

McCarthy dismissed the seriousness of the Post story on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

"This was an attempt at humor gone wrong," he tweeted. "No surprise @WashingtonPost tried to contort this into breaking news."

Still, according to The Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., immediately stopped the conversation McCarthy was having last year and implored those present to keep it secret.

The Post said McCarthy's comments came after he and Ryan had left separate conversations at the U.S. Capitol with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, "who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions."

They also came just a day after The Post broke the news that Russians had hacked the computer network of the Democratic National Committee.

When some of the GOP colleagues McCarthy was conversing with laughed at his comment, the Bakersfield congressman followed up with: "Swear to God," The Post reported.

It said Ryan told those involved not to spread the word, saying: “No leaks. ... This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

You can read the full story online at The Washington Post and in tomorrow's print edition of The Californian.

(11) comments

Jpb1055

As a conservitive, I find this type of reporting by the Washington Post trivial garbage. These leftist media outlets, ie msnbc, cnn, ny times etc, are all about diversion, chaos, resistance. Included in this resistance movement are the previous idiot president, his incompetent female secretary of state and numerous democratic leaders. Shame on them. Trump may not operate like a polished politician, but he gets the fact that the media, the washington cesspool and the power brokers that have run our country into the ground, are the cockroachs trying to desperately stay alive. Losers all.

Jay78

What a joke of a president, period!

obe52

So he made a joke about something that didn't even become public knowledge until a bit more than a half a year later.

iaz28girl

What happened to this country, jokes and sarcasm is whats made this country great. Now you pop off a joke and everyone jumps on the band wagon and wants to burn you at the stake. If all you readers believe everything media is releasing, you might want to get your head checked.

Writer

A Free Press is America's Fourth Estate, ensuring our democracy. Without it, there is no voice to hold corrupt politicians like McCarthy, Trump, Ryan, Sessions and their ilk, accountable to the citizens they "serve". One of the first actions of a dictator is to delegitimize the press and rely on a puppet mouthpiece like FOX, or in Russia's case: TASS. Trump and his cohorts have made "media" a dirty word to undermine journalism's influence on the American people, and withhold the truth. McCarthy and Ryan's collusion was recorded on tape* by someone in that closed door room; someone who must believe the "family" Ryan seeks to protect shouldn't just be Republican congressmen and senators, but all Americans. The press checked it, verified its authenticity before reporting it. (Unlike FOX, this is what real journalists do.) When Trump invited America's avowed enemy, Russia, into the Oval Office and allowed only his cohorts and TASS, while denying American journalists access, where he divulged state secrets and undermined the security of our international allies and jeopardized America's security he violated his oath of office: "...to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

*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=.e4188d786d86

Writer

McCarthy has to go, with his unAmerican actions to undermine our democracy. He works to subvert the 1st Amendment to put Church over Government; voted to cut funding for health care while insisting on NO CUTS for Congressional health care; condoned Russian involvement in our presidential election and supports a Commander-in-Chief whom he says "Swear to God" is being paid by the Russians. Look at his legislative record. He promotes oil cartels and expanded offshore drilling while fighting against funding for renewable energy. It's time for him to pack his bags and let men and women serve our nation who will uphold our rights and freedoms and the laws of our great nation.

Nevermind

Hey.....all great punchlines end in......Swear to God.......followed by.......Keep this under your hat boys.

Thirtysomething

You won the internet today

Nevermind

Obama's fault

jfrancais

Kevin McCarthy is pretty stupid...it is possible that he thought it was a joke and not taking the info seriously...from Ukrainian officials.

yorkies2014

he can explain it to former FBI Director Robert Mueller.....lock him up and drain the nasty morally bankrupt Republican swamp that extends all the way to the this dusty patch

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