Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) appeared on CNN today and embarrassed himself by launching a dishonest, obsequious attack on the investigation into collusion between the Trump team and Russia.
Anchor Ana Cabrera asked the Congressman whether or not Attorney General Jeff Sessions should heed calls for resignation over his handling of the Russia probe. Rohrabacher took the discussion in an interesting direction and painted Sessions as a traitor not because he supports Trump too much, but because he doesn’t support him enough.
Rohrabacher attacked the Attorney General for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, despite the fact that the majority of legal experts agree it was the only viable and appropriate move, given Sessions’s closeness with the Trump campaign and proximity to Russian agents. Despite his problems with Sessions, Rohrabacher refused to state if he thought the AG should resign.
CNN’s Ana Cabrera pushed back, pointing out that the Congressman wasn’t answering her question. She pivoted to whether or not Rohrabacher believed Trump had engaged in obstruction of justice. The Congressman used the question to launch an attack on the appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller. Cabrera pushed back against his smokescreen, and Rohrabacher quickly unraveled:
“Maybe somebody who is your guest should be able to say a few words. Your last interviews had nobody on the other side of the issue coming in to have the discussion with CNN. Maybe you should give me a chance, when you have me on your program, to express my opinion,” Rohrabacher fumed. From there, it only went more downhill.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 5, 2018
It’s worth noting that the California Republican has often been described as the most Russia-friendly member of Congress. He’s gone as far as to offer an apologia for Putin’s illegal and aggressive annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
The New York Times previously reported that shortly before Trump won the Republican nomination, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) discussed Rohrabacher’s allegiances in unflattering terms.
“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” said McCarthy.
Rohrabacher’s current behavior certainly lends credence to the accusation. At best, Rohrabacher is a partisan hack going out of his way to protect his party’s leader from a justified investigation. At worst, the Congressman is doing Putin’s bidding in order to protect a Russian puppet president.