The Washington Post is out with a report that a month before Trump secured the Republican nomination, a House leader joked with colleagues that Putin "pays" Trump.
According to the Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan "immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy's assertion", and even "swore the Republicans present to secrecy".
When the Post asked Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck for a comment on the exchange, Buck said, "That never happened".
After McCarthy said "I think Putin pays" Trump.
Rohrabacher said he isn't taking offense to the comments, adding he believes the majority leader made the comments in jest.
"It had to be a joke", said Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas.
A few of those laughed at his initial statement which prompted McCarthy to say: "Swear to God".
House Republican leaders had resisted calls for an independent commission or prosecutor to investigate possible Russian interference, but pressure mounted after Mr Trump's sacking of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and the revelation the President shared intelligence with Russian officials.
"This was an attempt at humor gone wrong".
The Huntington Beach Republican's views on Russian Federation are "based on the commonsense belief that we should work more closely with Russian Federation to fight Islamic terrorism and on a diplomatically formed understanding that our government, especially our Congress, should not gratuitously alienate Moscow as we pursue that objective", Grubbs said.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also noted the disconnect between McCarthy's comment and the GOP's public posture at the time he made it.
Prime Minister Groysman had moments earlier told both McCarthy and Ryan that Russian President Vladimir Putin was prone to a particular tactic of supporting, verbally and financially, populist leaders around the world in an attempt to undermine and weaken Eastern European democracies.
Rep. Steve Scalise, the majority whip, chimed in: "That's how you know that we're tight".
As a separate Washington Post analysis put it, "It is quite possible that McCarthy did not mean that he really, truly thought Trump was cashing checks from Putin".
The transcript of the tape repeatedly notes laughter, and that McCarthy was laughing.
Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher on Wednesday told reporters that McCarthy's quip was a joke.
Some Democrats raised their concerns about McCarthy's statement citing the tensions that have been going on regarding the investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign.
The conversation came a day after news broke alleging that Russian Federation hacked the Democratic National Committee.