Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) recently called U.S. intelligence agencies “liars,” but he has only praise for accused rapist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, currently hiding in Ecuador’s Embassy in London for fear of arrest. Rohrabacher even called him an “honorable man.”
In a new interview with CNN, Rohrabacher once again rejected the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election, citing his three-hour conversation with Assange as the reason for his defending Putin and Russia.
Rohrabacher’s meeting with Assange was aided by white nationalist and holocaust denier Chuck Johnson. Johnson, who is permanently banned from Twitter for threatening the life of civil rights activist DeRay McKesson, was attending barbeque at Rohrabacher’s home when they hatched a plot to visit Assange in London.
Rohrabacher, 70, came away from that meeting assured that the hack at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 2016 — viewed with certainty by the US intelligence community as an attack orchestrated by Russia — had nothing to do with the Kremlin. It was, as Rohrabacher asserted, an ‘inside job,’ though there’s no evidence to suggest that’s the case.
Wikileaks is a “hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” said former CIA director Mike Pompeo, who is now Trump’s Secretary of State. Pompeo agrees with the conclusion that Wikileaks “actively collaborated” with Russian propaganda outlets in the 2016 election, including the release of stolen emails from the DNC.
Pompeo went further, saying men like Assange “care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security,” and the he finds the celebration of such men “deeply troubling.”
And yet Rohrabacher told CNN that Assange is “a very honorable man.”
Rohrabacher, currently a sitting United States Congressman, would rather believe internet conspiracy theories about a non-existent ‘inside job’ than the conclusions of career professionals in the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency, as well as Trump-appointed officials. He continues to repeat these claims, with absolutely no evidence, to any outlet that will speak with him.
In April, Rohrabacher made similar claims to Costa Mesa Brief. As SoCal Daily reported, “Rohrabacher claimed U.S. intelligence agencies engaged in a massive plot to lie to the American people about Russian hacking in the 2016 election, saying American people ‘are being lied to by their own intelligence agencies claiming that the Russians hacked [the DNC].'”
Rohrabacher’s aggressively pro-Russian views are becoming part of the narrative around the 2018 election. One of his Democratic opponents, Harley Rouda, has campaign sticker reading, “Piss off Putin — vote Harley Rouda.”
“The love of Russia by Comrade Rohrabacher is an issue here locally,” Rouda said recently.
By giving multiple interviews to repeat debunked pro-Russian conspiracy theories, Rohrabacher is only bringing more attention to his bizarre, false narratives.