Republican Leader Says He Was Just Joking About Vladimir Putin Paying Donald Trump

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he was just kidding when he said Russian President Vladimir Putin pays Donald Trump.

“It’s a bad attempt at a joke; that’s all there is to it,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday, in remarks reported by The New York Times. “No one believes it to be true from any stretch of the fact.”

McCarthy’s defense came after The Washington Post reported that the Republican leader from California told several of his colleagues in June of 2016 that...

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