Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Thursday he wants to brief President Donald Trump on his meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The Orange County Republican said Assange told him Wednesday he was not behind the leak of Democratic National Committee emails last summer that ultimately led to the resignation of then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the start of the party’s convention to nominate Hillary Clinton.
Assange “emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails,” Rohrabacher said in a statement issued Thursday.
Rohrabacher’s meeting with Assange was first reported by The Daily Caller. Assange, according to the report, is looking to strike a deal with the US so he can stop living in asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the two met for three-hours Wednesday.
Assange has been identified as a threat by US intelligence, who believe he worked with Russian hackers to post stolen emails during last year’s election. WikiLeaks posted the entirety of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal email account last October over a stretch of 30 days that led to Election Day.
Rohrabacher, one of Russia’s staunchest defenders in Washington, has emerged as a key figure in the unfolding Russia investigations.
Rohrabacher was warned by the FBI in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him. And Rohrabacher worked closely with the Russian team lobbying last year to repeal Russia sanctions; members of that lobbying team met with Donald Trump Jr. last June on the premise of providing dirt on Clinton from the Kremlin.