WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is urging President Trump to meet with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to once and for all put to rest the “lie” that the administration colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 presidential election.
“Determining whether Russia had colluded with the Trump campaign, by supposedly breaking into the Democratic National Committee and leaking those emails — that’s the pivotal issue in front of us,” Rohrabacher told WND. “A really significant factor in determining the truth – what the reality is – is being totally ignored: Julian Assange actually has that first-hand information.
“There are very powerful interests at play that have lied to undermine the outcome of an American election, repeated lied and misled the American people, in a very dramatic way.”
As WND reported, Rohrabacher met in August with Assange, who said he is seeking a pardon in exchange for “information that will be of dramatic importance to the United States” concerning the source of the DNC email leak during the 2016 presidential election.
WikiLeaks published a series of emails from the DNC during the 2016 presidential race that were damaging to former Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The emails revealed that high-ranking officials of the DNC and the Clinton team sabotaged Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy and used racist, anti-gay and sexist slurs when referring to constituents.
In a 25-page report published in January, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded “with high confidence” that the Kremlin directed hacks against the DNC, Clinton campaign staffer John Podesta and other top Democrats before passing on the stolen material to WikiLeaks for online publication.
Rohrabacher, who serves as chairman of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee overseeing relations with Russia, refrained from elaborating on the details of his three-hour meeting with Assange. But he said he walked away from his encounter with assurances that Russia and Trump had nothing to do with leaking the emails.
“The only thing that I can tell you that he said is that he was adamant – adamant – that the Russians were not involved. He’s got a lot of further information that is going to be available to me and others once we go through a number of steps,” he said.
“There is a lot of other pertinent information that he is going to be willing to make available, but we’ve got to get certain things done first. I am not going to go into great detail on that, but that’s where it stands,” the congressman said.
“This is something the White House needs to pay attention to. The president has been severely attacked, and his ability to assume the lawful authority that was granted to him by the voters has been disrupted and undermined, aggressively. Those people who are doing this, by promoting a lie and repeating that lie, they need to be exposed. The White House right now has not been following through as fast as I think they should on determining this issue.”
Rohrabacher said he has not yet briefed the president on the details Assange conveyed to him, but he is urging Trump to reach out to the WikiLeaks founder to repair the damage his opponents and critics have done to his presidency and to strengthen national security.
“I have spoken to a very senior level person at the White House. I have not briefed the president, however. The president needs to be briefed on it. The enemies of the president and our country are trying to do great harm,” Rohrabacher said. “They should be exposed for the lie, but it will only be exposed once the agreements and understandings are reached. But the discussion has not started. The president needs to look at this.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Rohrabacher spoke to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly last Wednesday about striking a potential deal with Assange in exchange for information on the issue.
Rohrabacher predicted that Democrats and “enemies of the president and the country” will move away from the issue, hoping it will disappear.
“Our three intelligence agencies, the CIA, the FBI and the NSA, were politicized by Hillary and her clique – they verified a lie, a huge lie,” he said. “I am sure they are trying to exercise their influence now to let this case go away, so that they don’t have to be held accountable for this crime.
“They want this to be a dead issue now because they know that the American people no longer are buying the lie. There’s already been a technological analysis done by experts showing that it could not have been done by a hack from the Russians.”
The analysis Rohrabacher cited was conducted by a group of former NSA computer experts, published Aug. 9 by the Nation. The experts conclude in their analysis that “there was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year – not by the Russians, not by anyone else.”
A remote hack of the committee’s servers would have been technologically impossible, particularly in light of the volume of data stolen, the experts argued.
“Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak – a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device,” the experts wrote. “In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”
Assange emphatically insisted to Rohrabacher that Russia had nothing to do with how he obtained DNC emails, the California congressman told WND.
Assange has not only repeatedly denied that Russia or any “state party” was involved in the leaking of DNC emails, he has hinted that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich might have been the source of the emails.
As WND reported, Rich was murdered July 10, 2016, in his affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Nothing was taken from him, yet the Metropolitan Police Department maintains that Rich was killed during a “botched robbery.”
The Profiling Project, a team of forensic psychology graduate students and instructors, concluded in June that Rich was likely murdered by a “professional killer or serial murderer.”
Jack Burkman, the head of the Profiling Project, has filed a lawsuit against the MPD, demanding the release of Rich’s medical examiner’s report, autopsy documents and ballistics reports, documents that are typically made public during murder investigations.
Americans should be suspicious and alarmed that the investigation into Rich’s murder is cast off as “conspiracy theory,” Rohrabacher said.
“I admire WND for investigating Rich – going to something that is really important, while everyone else is trying not to see it, [trying] not to acknowledge it. In this case, there’s a dead body, and he’s been murdered,” he said.
Rohrabacher said the details of Rich’s murder are deliberately being ignored “to accomplish something.”
“Everyone wants to try do their very best to ignore that dead body, ignore that there’s a crime, a murder, in order to accomplish something. What that something is remains unproven right now to the general public. But there are some people who know the answer,” he said. “When you have political operatives, who are tied into a political power structure, trying to convince you not to look at something, not to question and not to examine something – that is exactly what we should be doing. That is certainly the case with Seth.”
Following Rohrabacher’s meeting with Assange, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Aug. 31 called for Rohrabacher to be removed as chairman of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee overseeing Russia, claiming he has a “sympathetic” stance toward the country.
Rohrabacher spokesman Ken Grubbs dismissed the suggestion. Grubbs told the Hill that the DCCC is “obviously embarrassed by the [Democratic National Committee’s] antics last year, does not know how to think strategically about foreign affairs and has descended to the guilt-by-association tactics reminiscent of America’s Red Scares. It compounds its own embarrassment.”
Rohrabacher said the only country he is “sympathetic” to is the United States, and he wants to shed the light of truth on the “repeated lie that makes Russia a villain for an activity that they were not engaged in.”
“I consider myself a patriot. Anybody who thinks I am pro-Russia, they are showing their own ignorance and inability to take an honest look at the issues. I am not pro-Russia at all; I am pro-America. The only thing I am advocating is what I think is very important for the security, well-being and prosperity of the United States. That’s it. We need to work with Russia for the prosperity and security of our country. Those people who on a gut-level say ‘you never want to work with Russians’ are doing a great disservice to our country and to the cause of peace in the world,” he told WND.
“I am looking for truth, [that’s] all. I am looking for people who know what the truth is, so that they can make up their own mind about what type of relationship we should have with Russia.”
Rohrabacher said a “great disservice and harm” have been done to the president “by a lie, repeated by the media and political forces and by intelligence agencies in our country.”
“That lie needs to be disclosed and dealt with so the American people know that they should be supporting their president,” he said. “And we should be seeking, where possible, cooperation with Russia for national security purposes,” he continued.
“As soon as the White House can decide that they are to working out an understanding with Julian, we will hopefully be able to move forward and bring the fact and the truth to the American people, which will, I believe, convince the American people that they’ve been lied to, with the purpose of creating hostility between the U.S. and Russia and prevent us from working with Russia in a way which would be very beneficial to our country.”