As Donald Trump’s Russia scandal has continued to be exposed by numerous ongoing federal investigations, one of the oddest aspects of the story has been that of U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. He’s expressed such a bizarre level of allegiance to Russia that a leader of his own Republican Party has suggested he may be on Vladimir Putin’s payroll. Rohrabacher has come so front and center that late night host Seth Meyers spent a segment last night exposing his Russia ties.
Seth Meyers pointed out that when Donald Trump’s Russian-backed campaign chair Paul Manafort was trying to get a Kremlin puppet elected in Ukraine in 2013, the only U.S. politician he met with was Dana Rohrabacher. He also pointed out that during the 2016 election, Rohrabacher traveled to Moscow to meet with the same Russian government attorney who had met with Donald Trump Jr and Manafort. Last year, Republican congressional leader Kevin McCarthy was caught on tape accusing Rohrabacher of being on Putin’s payroll during what he thought was a private conversation. Now Rohrabacher has met with his fellow Russian puppet, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, in an attempt at working out some sort of pardon deal.
It’s not as if Seth Meyers necessarily unearthed any new information about Dana Rohrabacher during his segment. But what stands out is that Meyers arguably put more of a spotlight on Rohrabacher’s Russia connections than any cable news channel has to date. Television comedians have often been out ahead of the “real” news when it comes to exposing hard truths (The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, etc). So this may serve as a sign that the Rohrabacher is about to come front and center.
It’s also noteworthy that Meyers chose to highlight Dana Rohrabacher’s Russia connections just a few days after it was revealed that Paul Manafort was under FISA warrant surveillance during and after the election. This may be foreshadowing intercepted phone conversations between Manafort and Rohrabacher, considering their existing personal relationship and their shared allegiance to the Kremlin.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report