Another day, another bombshell to rock Republican leadership. On May 17, a report from The Washington Post revealed a notable detail from a conversation between House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and several other GOP leaders — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — that took place in June of 2016 amid the presidential campaign. The transcript shows McCarthy saying, "There's two people, I think, Putin pays: [Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump." Ryan puts an end to conversation and asks everyone to keep it secret, stating, "What's said in the family stays in the family."
Paul Ryan's spokesman Brendan Buck initially told The Washington Post the exchange "never happened." However, when The Post informed him it "would cite a recording," Buck backpedaled. "This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor," he said. "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."
While the Trump and Putin comment itself was the most damning line from the meeting, the internet also couldn't resist skewering Paul Ryan's mention of "family." After McCarthy makes his comment about Putin paying Trump, Ryan says, "This is an off the record. . . NO LEAKS . . . all right?!" He continues with, "This is how we know we're a real family here," and ends with, "What's said in the family stays in the family." The internet immediately piled on with jokes about family, The Godfather, and the entire situation.
"You know we're all family here"
Narrator: They were NOT all family here
— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) May 17, 2017
"This is how we know we're a real family here."
Holy shit.. this goes all the way up to Dominic Toretto
— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) May 17, 2017
— Dan Sheehan (@dansheehan) May 17, 2017
jeez, you go into a basement theatre w/ no wifi for 2 hours and when you get out Paul Ryan's doing a treason at Olive Garden
— Sara Hinkley (@sjhinkley) May 17, 2017
Paul Ryan Spokesman: "That never happened."
Washington Post: "We have an audio recording of it happening."
Paul Ryan Spokesman: pic.twitter.com/BpfIYMGzmP
— Scoops Maroun (@ejmaroun) May 17, 2017
Members of Congress should take a cue from the White House's previous messes and realize that there will be leaks — no matter what heartwarming quote you come up with.