Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is among Republican members of the House of Representatives who have been caught on tape discussing Vladimir Putin paying Donald Trump. The recording has been heard by the Washington Post, and also involves House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as well as controversial pro-Russia congressman Dana Rohrabacher. This comes a full month after Palmer Report brought you a similar report about Paul Ryan and Russia financing Trump’s campaign.
It was McCarthy who made the accusation, asserting that “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” prompting Ryan to cut him off an insist that the matter never be publicly discussed (link). Ryan responded by asserting through a spokesman that the exchange never happened, and then after learning there was a recording of it, changed his story and asserted that it had merely been a joke.
But the timing of the conversation suggests otherwise. The Republicans in question had just come from a meeting in which they’d been briefed on how Russia finances its puppet politicians in other nations, and this all occurred one day after news had broken that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee.
This appears to partially corroborate a story which Palmer Report brought you last month about Paul Ryan having been caught on tape discussing Russian financing of the Donald Trump campaign (link). However it’s not immediately clear if the recording secured by the Washington Post is the same recording in question, or if there are multiple recordings to this effect.
It’s also worth noting that the Washington Post byline for its story is listed as “Kiev, Ukraine” and the story references Paul Ryan having just left a meeting with the President of Ukraine. In our view, this suggests that government representatives of Ukraine may have been the ones who recorded the conversation about Putin funding Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report