House Speaker Paul Ryan declared on Friday that he’s “never seen anything like” the audio recording on which House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, in jest, that he believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was refunding then-GOP candidate Donald Trump and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
According to the Washington Post, McCarthy purportedly said in a meeting being recorded that Putin pays “there are two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”, then, he added, “swear to God”. The comment came while McCarthy joking and laughing with his GOP colleagues in a meeting held in last summer.
Ryan was quick to reject the speculations, in an attempt to keep the talks and meeting private, stressing on the fact that Republicans will always remain a family. At first, Ryan rejected that the conversation was ever held until the Washington Post asserted that they have the audio recording, at which point Ryan’s spokesman claimed that McCarthy made his controversial comment in jest.
“No leaks. … This is how we know we’re a real family here,” Ryan asserted.
Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the somebody recorded a tape last year of a meeting the Republicans held in which McCarthy jested; however, a few days ago the tape was leaked and that was what mattered to them.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the speaker said. “There was somebody who taped a meeting a year ago where our majority leader cracked a joke and then they released the tape of that joke out just a few days ago and that’s a pretty bizarre thing to happen. So obviously that’s a cause of concern of ours.”
Speculations surrounding Evan McMullin
There were speculations over Evan McMullin, who launched a presidential campaign as Trump’s rival, recording and leaking the tape. Nonetheless, Ryan ceased to stir up speculations.
McMullian, who was House Republican Conference’s policy director, attended the meeting in which the talks were recorded and run counter to the fact that Replicans did not take a stand against Trump.
“I’m not going to speculate on who it is,” Ryan said of the notion that McMullin might be the leaker. “That’s the name that most people, you know, you hear about.”