Jarred by the publication of a secret tape, House Republican leadership sources are concerned that unsuccessful Never Trump presidential candidate Evan McMullin secretly wore a recording device during a June 2016 leadership meeting, Axios reported Thursday afternoon.
One other theory floating around, according to Axios’ Jonathan Swan, is that Ukranian officials could have secretly left a recording device during meetings with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan earlier that day.
But the predominate theory is that McMullin wore a wire during a June 15 House leadership meeting. A tape from that meeting leaked to The Washington Post on Wednesday, revealing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy joking that Donald Trump and California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher were on Putin’s payroll. The tape’s leak, which came around the same time as a series of other leaks damaging to Trump, appears to have been timed to further publicly undermine the president.
McMullin, a former leadership aide, was present at the meeting and confirmed the tape’s contents to the Post.
“It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking,” McMullin told the Post.
McMullin, who is also a former CIA agent, remained silent throughout the meeting, according to Axios.
McMullin has remained a frequent critic of Trump, especially on Twitter, since losing to him in the November election.