House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday’s leak of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy jokingly saying he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying President Donald Trump and California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in 2016 is cause for concern.
Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt he thought it was “bizarre” someone provided the audio to The Washington Post. Ryan is heard saying in the audio: “No leaks. This is how we know we’re a real family here.” The remark was met with laughter.
“Well, that was, it was, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he 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.”
Certain House Leaders have suspected former 2016 presidential hopeful Evan McMullin could be the source of the leaks, Axios reports. Ryan would not confirm whether he thought McMullin was the culprit.
“I’m not going to speculate on who that is,” he continued. “That’s the name most people, you know, you hear about.”
McCarthy told reporters Wednesday the comment was made in jest, asserting he doesn’t believe Trump or Rohrabacher have ever been paid by the Kremlin.
“It’s a bad joke, that’s all there was to it,” he told reporters.
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