Sunday, 24 June, 2018

House GOP leader suggested Putin was paying Trump

Sandy Vega | 19 May, 2017, 09:50

"I remember I was trying to make fun of the scientist who claimed that cow farts make global warming", Rohrabacher said. They then said it was merely an "inappropriate joke".

The discussion took place on June 15, 2016 - the day Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman was visiting Washington and reportedly met both McCarthy and Ryan separately.

Aaron Blake is senior political reporter for The Washington Post's "The Fix". At that point, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) cut off the conversation and swore those present to secrecy. She and others hint at the NGOs Russia has bought in Europe, including the environmental groups that have been lined up to oppose fracking, a technology Russia doesn't like because it lowers gas prices.

McCarthy, who is one of the president's closest allies in Congress, had been referring to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a noted defender of Putin and Russian Federation. The question here is: why share a joke that's unfit for public consumption, then maybe it's not just any joke, maybe it's an inside knowledge that could have swayed America's future in a different direction.

McCarthy spoke to NBC on Wednesday night and also said, "It's a bad attempt at a joke". "It's true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin's payroll", McMullin said. "Fine." You have to be very careful when you're using humor. There were also multiple news reports at the time about Russian Federation taking steps to help Donald Trump's campaign.

Ryan: This is, this isn't just about Ukraine.

One GOP member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly, was skeptical that McCarthy would have any special knowledge of Putin's activities.

Rodgers: "We're not...we're not...but, we're not". McCarthy: The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp research that they had on Trump.

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Ryan asked who the Russians "delivered" the opposition research to.

It's interesting that Ryan, who was a reluctant convert to Trump's presidential campaign, jumps in before the joke becomes a running gag.

McCarthy: There's...there's two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump...[laughter]...swear to God.

McCarthy and Ryan's aides initially denied the story, which McCarthy said was because "no one even remembers it transpiring".

Ryan: This is how we know we're a real family here. "We are", Ryan says on the tape of the June 2016 meeting.

Yeah, there's a lot of laughter in there. But, really, that's not what this whole drama has been about.

There was reason to worry that Trump might, to pick a random example, share sensitive intelligence with Russian Federation in violation of an agreement with an ally. Though intelligence agencies were aware of the hacks, those emails wouldn't be published until July 22 - more than a month later - and one of the first people to publicly mention Russia's involvement was actually Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook.

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