FBI Warned Rep. Dana Rohrabacher that Russia Was Tried Recruit Him

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 20, 2017

In 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) that Russian spies were targeting him for recruitment, the New York Times reported on Friday.

New reporting Friday morning in the New York Times takes aim at the "just joking" defense taken by Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in regards to the explosive report that in June of 2016 they were discussing Putin paying Donald Trump.

"There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump", McCarthy reportedly said, just after emerging from chat with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on the subject of Russian attempts to finance populist candidates in other countries. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is known as Putin's most vigorous defender in Congress.

When the Post asked Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck for a comment on the exchange, Buck said, "That never happened".

The transcript does denote group laughter; Ryan went on to say the talk was off the record and, "What's said in the family stays in the family".

The Washington Post then said that they had a recording where both Ryan and McCarthy could clearly be heard and their story abruptly changed.

Rohrabacher said in a telephone interview Thursday that the meeting had focused on his contact with one member of the Russian Foreign Ministry, whom he recalled meeting on a trip to Moscow.

When some of the people in the room chuckled at McCarthy's comment, he made it clear that he wasn't kidding: "Swear to God". House Speaker Paul Ryan says that Groysman "has this really interesting riff" about what Russian Federation is doing in Ukraine: "Financing [Ukraine's] populists, financing people in our governments to undo our governments". And then, a few seconds later, he adds "Russia is trying to turn Ukraine against itself".

McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday, "It was a bad attempt at a joke". Ryan's response was also said to have been met with laughter.

"Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking".

"That's how you know that we're tight", Scalise said.

Rohrabacher, the other target of the joke, said the same on Wednesday.

The revelation comes the same day a special counsel was appointed by the Department of Justice to investigate Russia's alleged interference in the presidential election and whether any members of the Trump campaign were involved.

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 McCarthy quip came during a campaign when Trump frequently praised Putin as a strong leader. If there was no collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation - and no evidence has yet been produced - we all should know that.

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