Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who is in a tough re-election fight for his Orange County congressional seat, is facing criticism from his Democratic opponent for defending President Donald Trump’s diplomatic efforts with Russia, and for calling the indictment of an accused Russian spy with whom he met in St. Petersburg in 2015 “bogus.”
The Facebook page for Democrat Harley Rouda, who placed second to Rohrabacher in a hotly contested June primary in California’s 48th congressional district, includes photographs of protesters holding up signs mocking President Trump for supposedly being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One photograph (see above) features Rouda standing next to Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) wearing a “Trump/Putin ’16” T-shirt.
Register notes that a billboard has been posted in Newport Beach, California, quoting a secretly recorded conversation that was reported last year by the Washington Post, and which included Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) saying, “There are two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher & Trump”.
Billboard here in Newport Beach, the heart of Rohrabacher's district, using McCarthy's "There are two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher & Trump" quote. pic.twitter.com/QunX8wJ1jG
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) July 16, 2018
According to the Register, the ad was paid for by an activist group dedicated to having President Trump impeached.
Rohrabacher met alleged Russian spy Maria Butina, who also met with many other politicians as she allegedly infiltrated the National Rifle Association (NRA). He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and there is no indication he knew of her alleged spying.
The media has also focused on the Russia investigation in covering Rohrabacher’s re-election effort. On Friday, Rohrabacher toured a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center and reportedly invited reporters to ask him questions when reporters questioned him about his connection to the Russia.
“You should be ashamed of yourself for bringing that up when we just talked about something really important,” Rohrabacher told reporters, and then proceeded to tell them that he had already conducted “hundreds of interviews on the issue of Russia.”
A new survey conducted by Monmouth University in New Jersey, found that the seasoned congressman’s Democratic challenger Haley Rouda reportedly has a 46%-43% edge over Rohrabacher among “potential” voters. However, the poll notes that this figure is well within the 4.9% margin of error.