Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is calling a comment made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that's making national headlines "an attempt at a humorous joke."
In a Washington Post article published Wednesday McCarthy told GOP leaders in a meeting last year “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump." McCarthy reported added "Swear to God" after the room laughed at the comment.
Rohrabacher is in reference to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, who was described in the article as a "fervent defender" of Russia.
According to the Post, Rep. Paul Ryan cut the conversation short, and swore those in the room to secrecy. The recording was verified by The Washington Post, and reportedly took place on July 15, 2016.
A spokesperson for McMorris Rodgers issued a statement Wednesday night. You can read the full statement below:
“Clearly this was an attempt at a humorous joke during a private meeting held nearly a year ago. The Congresswoman obviously does not believe President Trump nor Mr. Rohrabacher are paid by Russia. She supports the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference with our election and supports the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the investigation.”