On Wednesday, The Washington Post breathlessly reported on the leaked audio of a meeting of House Republicans where Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy allegedly made a joke about Russian President Vladimir Putin paying off then-candidate Donald Trump. The Post, of course, reported the joke not as a joke but as a bombshell to prove the Russian/Trump collusion narrative, of which there is no evidence.
But aside from The Post's shameless attempt at pushing a yet-to-be-proven narrative, the real story was the leak. Who did it?
The word in Washington is that former presidential hopeful and ardent Trump hater, Even McMullin may be the culprit. On Friday, when Speaker Ryan was asked by conservative Hugh Hewitt about the leaker being McMullin, Ryan refused to speculate but admitted McMullin's name is being associated with the leak (emphasis added):
HH: Second story alleged that you’re worried about tape recordings of leadership meetings. True or false?
PR: Well, that was, it was, I’ve never seen anything like this. There was somebody who taped a meeting a year ago where our Majority Leader cracked a joke, and then they released the tape of that joke out just a few days ago. And that’s a pretty bizarre thing to happen, so obviously that’s a cause of concern of ours.
HH: Do you believe it was Evan McMullin?
PR: I’m not going to speculate on who that is. That’s the name most people, you know, you hear about.
As noted by The Hill, McMullin, as a former Capitol Hill staff member, was indeed at the meeting leaked to The Post. McMullin also had access to numerous leadership meetings in Ryan's office as a staffer to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican Conference chairwoman.
"Ryan's leadership team has good reason to suspect McMullin leaked the audio. An outspoken Trump critic, McMullin even alluded to the 2016 meeting and McCarthy's Russia-Trump statement in a New York Times op-ed published in February," notes The Hill.
"Suspect public comments like these led one senior Republican leader to dolefully inform his peers that he thought Mr. Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll, suggesting that Mr. Trump had been compromised by Russian intelligence," wrote McMullin.
"Other leaders were surprised by their colleague’s frank assessment, but did not dispute it," he added.
If one's Twitter feed is any indication on who most desperately wants the Russian/Trump collusion story to be true, aside from full-crazy Louise Mensch, it's probably Evan McMullin.