Over the course of the last several weeks and even months, many political pundits, especially those on the left, have brought up the possibility that if Trump had been compromised by Putin and Russia then many lawmakers within the GOP may in fact be complicit.
This afternoon an explosive report by the Washington Post has revealed what may be direct evidence that the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, as well as other Republican lawmakers knew or at least suspected that the Russians may have infiltrated the Donald Trump campaign. A recording from June 15, 2016 has surfaced in which the House Majority Leader at the time, Kevin McCarthy made quite a damning assertion in private to other members of the GOP, including current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, that Putin had been paying Donald Trump. The conversation, which was recorded just a day after news broke about Russians hacking the DNC, included the voice of Paul Ryan.
The conversation started with McCarthy saying, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Fellow lawmakers laughed as they seemingly blew off the assertion, but then McCarthy interjected, “Swear to God!”
Paul Ryan then chimed in, quickly trying to change the direction that the conversation was headed, saying “No leaks… This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
When the Washington Post confronted Paul Ryan’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, on the allegations, he responded as follows:
“That never happened.”
Meanwhile Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, said: “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.”
The Washington Post then said that they had a recording where both Ryan and McCarthy could clearly be heard and their story abruptly changed. Brendan Buck, a GOP spokesman stated the following:
“This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.”
Clearly Paul Ryan and numerous other GOP leaders were, at the very least, made aware of the possible connection between Putin and Trump, and went out of their way to hide such allegations from the public. While the specific details or how much Ryan knew is unknown, it is interesting to note that President Trump has provided $100,000 to Paul Ryan’s Super PAC.