In the run-up to the final Republican primary contests last year, Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, told a group of Republican lawmakers that Vladimir Putin may have been making payments to Donald Trump.
McCarthy was quickly interrupted by Paul Ryan, and told to stay quiet and to keep it in the Repubican “family.”
As reported by the Washington Post: “A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — 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.”
“House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy… Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private.”
McCarthy this morning is casting his comments as a “joke.” This remains in dispute. No one appeared to have thought it was funny then. Certainly no one thinks it is funny now.