Here's a quote from your article: "It is difficult to tell from the recording the extent to which the remarks were meant to be taken literally."
Here's another quote from the article: "This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What?s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia?s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity."
So you are citing something that was said way before Pres Trump even won the nomination. Go ahead and hang your hat on this one too.