Rep. Dana Rohrabacher crowed about spending Wednesday with Julian Assange in London, where the Huntington Beach-based Republican claimed to have received "explosive" proof from the Wikileaks founder absolving Russia from having meddled in the last U.S. presidential election.
While that claim received some play in the press, the trip has also cast a darker shadow on the controversial Rohrabacher because he left the country to meet an even more controversial figure—some perceive Assange to be a criminal; the Aussie is no doubt a fugitive—during a time when Members of Congress generally stay in their districts to meet with constituents.
Then there is the matter of who apparently arranged the Rohrabacher-Assange meeting: Charles Johnson, who is known in polite circles as just another conservative journalist but who the Southern Poverty Law Center also says has espoused white supremacist views and has strong ties to the Alt-Right movement that was on full despicable display in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.
Johnson says he set up the London meeting. According to The Daily Caller, Rohrabacher spokesman Ken Grubbs confirmed that Johnson attended the meeting with the congressman and Assange.
We already knew that Rohrabacher and Johnson were outside the London location of the Assange meeting—the Ecuadorian embassy in the British capital where the Wikileaks founder lives under protection due to warrants for his arrest—because of a photo that has been widely distributed, even landing on the Costa Mesa Public Square discussion group's Facebook page as shown above. (Costa Mesa is part of Rohrabacher's 48th congressional district.)
The three-hour meeting prompted Rohrabacher to issue a press release that claims "Russia was not behind leaks of emails during last year’s presidential election campaign that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and exposed the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee." Grubbs is listed as the contact:
The congressman added that he plans to divulge more of what he found directly to President Donald Trump, who would obviously be glad to hear it given the pounding he is taking from the Russia meddling probe.
Johnson, meanwhile, says in The Daily Caller piece that he told Assange he is working on the Wikileaks' founder's freedom.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Drew Godinich, whose group is working on electing a Democrat to replace Rohrabacher, is among those who claims the chumminess with Johnson is troubling. In the photo above he even accuses Johnson of flashing a white nationalist hand sign. (To these eyes it looks like Johnson is indicating "A-OK," although perhaps white supremacists use that to indicate they have cleared a person with white skin of not being Jewish, as in "This one's A-OK.").
Godinich claims in a press release, “Dana Rohrabacher’s friend believes that the Holocaust was a hoax and that minorities are genetically inferior to white Americans. Does Dana Rohrabacher agree? And why was he with this bigot thousands of miles from California instead of meeting with his constituents or holding a town hall? The voters he actually works for deserve answers.”
The DCCC spokesman, who is really into compiling lists that target political foes, offered this one on "just five disgusting things that Chuck Johnson believes:"
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· That blacks are intellectually inferior to whites
· On Jews: “But for me, the neuroticism that’s clearly a big part of their evolutionary situation is interesting. And of course I get very upset with them because they have this idea that most goyim that they meet are actually quite dumb. And that’s true for a lot of them but I always have to sort of like set them apart and be like, ‘Look, I know you meet a lot of stupid ones but like I’m the exception. You know, and you need to start treating me with respect.’ It’s interesting how, when you say that, a lot of the tricks that they try to use on people, they just sort of, like, disappear. …And it is interesting how the things that are the most screwed up in our society — media, education, and government — seem to have a disproportionate number of them.”
· On Barack Obama: “Yes, he's gay (not that I care), and yes, his second daughter isn't his. And yes, his father is Frank Marshall Davis. And if you want to work on this, you should email me. For the record Obama was born in Hawaii but he's told two different stories about which hospital. He's also told three different stories about how he met his wife. And while we're on the topic check out the moles on Obama's face. That's a trait only common among West African blacks (think Morgan Freeman!).”
· Racial stereotypes are largely true
· The Holocaust didn’t happen.
Another who says he is troubled by the Rohrabacher-Assange meeting is Dr. Hans Keirstead, who has said he will seek the Democratic nomination to run for the 48th seat in 2018.
“The Congressional August work period is a time specifically set aside for representatives to be at home in their districts working for their constituents. By spending this time overseas meeting with accused criminal, Julian Assange, Rep. Rohrabacher is once again showing that the people of Orange County are not his priority," Keirstead says in a statement. “The people of the 48th district deserve a representative who is focused on the improving the quality of life for all Southern Californians.”
Rohrabacher's three decades in the same seat and lost touch with constituents have been constant themes of the campaign by Keirstead, who is billed as "one of the world’s leading innovators in stem cell research and medical treatments." He is currently CEO at AIVITA Biomedical, where he is said to be focusing on developing a cancer treatment.