Thursday, May 18, 2017
Adam Entous, Washington Post: A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy -- made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. "There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump," McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy's assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.
Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy's comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: "Swear to God."
Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: "No leaks. ... This is how we know we're a real family here."
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