Report: US House leader McCarthy suggested Trump on Putin payroll

ByREUTERS
May 18, 2017 08:26

An "attempt at humor gone wrong"?

Putin says he can prove Trump did not pass Russia secrets (credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - A leading Republican in the US Congress in June 2016 made a quip during a private meeting of fellow lawmakers that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be making payments to Donald Trump, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the assertion, the newspaper reported, saying the conversation was recorded last June, during the primary election season when Trump was seeking to become the Republican Party's presidential nominee.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



According to the Washington Post report, House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Republican, interrupted McCarthy and urged Republicans present to keep McCarthy's remarks secret.

The newspaper report quoted McCarthy saying, "There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump."


McCarthy fired back at the report on Twitter on Wednesday, saying, "This was an attempt at humor gone wrong."

A spokesman for Ryan said the remarks were meant as humor and had been taken out of context.

“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," Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher on Wednesday told reporters that McCarthy's quip was a joke. “The trouble is, when you ever try to be funny, it is really taken seriously by a third party, and that’s what’s happened here,” he said.

Reuters does not have a copy of the tape and could not confirm authenticity or gauge whether McCarthy was joking.

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Share this article via
Related Content
Donald Trump and Jared Kushner
May 27, 2017
Trump son-in-law had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy

By REUTERS

Israel Weather
  • 21 - 36
    Beer Sheva
    21 - 30
    Tel Aviv - Yafo
  • 21 - 30
    Jerusalem
    19 - 28
    Haifa
  • 27 - 39
    Elat
    23 - 37
    Tiberias