search
Sections List
American Journal News

Trump claims he 'barely knows' former GOP congressman he praised repeatedly

A London court filing from lawyers representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims ex-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher dangled a presidential pardon from Trump if Assange would deny Russia’s involvement in the DNC email hack.

By Emily Singer - February 19, 2020
Share
California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Donald Trump on Wednesday falsely claimed to “barely know” former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, hours after Rohrabacher’s name was summoned in a London court filing on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Lawyers for Assange alleged in the filing that the California Republican had dangled a pardon from Trump back in 2017.

“The President barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he’s an ex-congressman,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Wednesday. “He’s never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject. It is is a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never ending hoax and total lie from the [Democratic National Committee].”

According to the court filing, back in 2017, Rohrabacher offered Assange a pardon from Trump if Assange publicly denied that Russia was behind the now-infamous DNC email hack. (The American Independent has not independently confirmed this claim.)

The hacked emails were later published on WikiLeaks in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

Assange has claimed previously that Russia had nothing to do with the hack, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The U.S. intelligence community unanimously agrees that Russia was behind the hacking and dissemination of the DNC’s emails and did so in an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

Rohrabacher himself publicly admitted in a 2018 interview with the YouTube channel Costa Mesa Brief that he flew to London previously and met with Assange about the WikiLeaks hack. Rohrabacher claimed Assange had offered to give the U.S. government proof that the hack was not carried out by Russia, in exchange for protection from prosecution. Rohrabacher said he had told Assange he would “get it to the president” to “find out about it.”

A 2017 Wall Street Journal report claimed Rohrabacher had in fact contacted the White House to broker a deal.

Assange for his part claimed in a 2017 tweet that “offers have been made to me” regarding the source of the hacked materials, but insisted he had dismissed the offers, claiming, “WikiLeaks never has and never will reveal a source.”

Trump, however, now denies knowing or talking to Rohrabacher about anything related to Assange, WikiLeaks, or Russia’s hacking of the DNC.

Yet there is ample evidence that Trump does know Rohrabacher, who earned the nickname “Putin’s favorite congressman” for his close ties to the Russian dictator.

Trump met with Rohrabacher in April 2017, just a few months after taking office, according to a White House press briefing by Sean Spicer at the time. Trump personally invited Rohrabacher to the White House after he saw the California congressman on Fox News defending him, according to a Politico report.

In June 2018, during a National Space Council signing event in the East Room of the White House, Trump specifically shouted out Rohrabacher, who was sitting in the audience.

Trump first called on Rohrabacher and other legislators to stand, before later singling out the California lawmaker by name.

“America’s vital interest in space lost out to special interests in Washington, except, of course, for the senators and congressmen here. They would never do it. Right, Dana?” he said.

Trump also praised Rohrabacher and endorsed his 2018 reelection bid, which Rohrabacher ultimately lost to Democrat Harley Rouda by more than 7 points.

Congratulations to Dana Rohrabacher on his big California win. We are proud of you Dana!” Trump tweeted in June 2018, after the California primary.

Trump later endorsed Rohrabacher again, days before the 2018 midterm election.

“Dana Rohrabacher has been a great Congressman for his District and for the people of Cal. He works hard and is respected by all – he produces! Dems are desperate to replace Dana by spending vast sums to elect a super liberal who is weak on Crime and bad for our Military & Vets!” Trump tweeted on Nov. 5, 2018.

Trump, for his part, often denies knowing people who have been caught up in controversy, even when public links between them are evident.

He denied knowing indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas earlier this year after Parnas was charged with campaign finance violations. Video of Trump and Parnas having dinner together surfaced later, disproving that claim.

Trump also denied knowing Gordon Sondland, the now-former United States ambassador to the European Union who was a key figure in the Ukraine scheme that got Trump impeached. Trump, however, had tweeted praise of Sondland multiple times. He went on to fire Sondland after Senate Republicans acquitted Trump of the impeachment charges.

Additionally, Trump has downplayed his connections to other convicted felons, including his own former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was sentenced in March last year to 47 months in prison for a number of crimes, including tax and bank fraud. Manafort’s misdeeds were discovered in the course of special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year-long Russia probe.

After the FBI first raided Manafort’s residences in 2017, Trump admitted that he knew Manafort but that he “[hadn’t] spoken to him in a long time.” He added, ” He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time, relatively short period of time.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Wisconsin Rep. Derrick Van Orden hit with ethics complaint

Wisconsin Rep. Derrick Van Orden hit with ethics complaint

By Jesse Valentine - January 30, 2024
 Republican Mazi Pilip supported spending COVID relief funds on golf tournaments

 Republican Mazi Pilip supported spending COVID relief funds on golf tournaments

By Jesse Valentine - January 22, 2024
Rep. Juan Ciscomani worked for governor who made Arizona water crisis worse

Rep. Juan Ciscomani worked for governor who made Arizona water crisis worse

By Jesse Valentine - January 19, 2024
Republican Tom Barrett has cozy ties with anti-union group

Republican Tom Barrett has cozy ties with anti-union group

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
 Republicans choose violence in bonkers day on Capitol Hill

 Republicans choose violence in bonkers day on Capitol Hill

By Jesse Valentine - November 16, 2023
House Speaker Mike Johnson has long opposed abortion and LGBTQ+ rights

House Speaker Mike Johnson has long opposed abortion and LGBTQ+ rights

By Amanda Becker, The 19th - November 02, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Mark Robinson gun raffle raises campaign finance questions

Mark Robinson gun raffle raises campaign finance questions

By Jesse Valentine - February 16, 2024
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Ohio Democrats introduce education bills for universal school meals, teacher pay raises

Ohio Democrats introduce education bills for universal school meals, teacher pay raises

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal - February 15, 2024
Democrats dominate in getting bills to become laws, with leadership snagging the most wins

Democrats dominate in getting bills to become laws, with leadership snagging the most wins

By Dana DiFilippo, New Jersey Monitor - February 15, 2024