Right Hooks

McCarthy Jokes About Russia, WaPo Takes Him Seriously

Nate Jackson · May 18, 2017

We’ve been picking on The Washington Post quite a bit lately — indeed, sometimes we just feel like we’re piling on. But when you get stories like this, it can’t be helped: “House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump,” the Post headlined Wednesday night. Then the first paragraph: “A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

So what did McCarthy say? “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Rohrabacher is a Republican who’s been more than a little pro-Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Obviously, McCarthy was kidding. “It was a bad attempt at a joke,” he now says. And just about the only way to hear those comments otherwise is by listening through the prism of Trump Derangement Syndrome, which the Washington Post clearly is suffering from. The joke’s on them, even though they’ll try just like Wile E. Coyote to get that Road Runner again tomorrow.

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