(New York Times) Did you hear the one about the Russians paying off the future president of the United States? It seems House Republicans have.
two highest-ranking members on Wednesday walked into a firestorm of their own making, negotiating the latest Republican headache after The Washington Post reported that Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, said in a private session last year that President Trump, then a candidate, could be receiving payments from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin immediately intervened during the meeting and brought the conversation to a halt, according to a June recording reviewed by The Post, swearing his colleagues to secrecy amid laughter.
The New York Times has not obtained a recording and cannot appraise the tone of Mr. McCarthy’s original remarks. On Wednesday, he said he was just kidding.