‘AGENT OF INFLUENCE’

FBI Warned GOP Congressman Russian Spies Were Recruiting Him

The FBI reportedly warned Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him, The New York Times reports. Rohrabacher has long been known as a Moscow defender in Washington, as well as an opponent of U.S. and Western sanctions against the Kremlin. Officials have said the FBI informed Rohrabacher that Russian spies were working to recruit him as an “agent of influence” in order to manipulate Washington policy. “They were telling me he had something to do with some kind of Russian intelligence,” Rohrabacher said, of a foreign ministry official from Moscow. The FBI informed him that the Kremlin “looked at me as someone who could be influenced.” Rohrabacher, a staunch Trump ally on Capitol Hill, was mentioned in a recording that emerged this week that featured House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying he suspected the congressman (and Trump) took payments from the Russian government. “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy reportedly said last year, according to a bombshell Washington Post report. The congressman has said, in the wake of the audio recording surfacing, that it was just a poorly told joke.