A candidate for Secretary of State in the Trump administration clashed with a Moldovan-born Jewish news anchor Wednesday over Vladimir Putin’s human rights record.
Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican California congressman known for his pro-Russian views, was speaking with Yahoo News anchor Bianna Golodryga about rights abusers in China when she said, “much could be said about Russia as well in that regard.”
“Oh, baloney,” Rohrabacher exclaimed. “Where do you come from?” he asked, and added, “the audience knows you’re biased.”
Golodryga, who described herself as a “political refugee,” mentioned accusations that Russia murdered journalists.
Rohrabacher said he wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan on Russia. He said the late former U.S. President “would love” his views on Putin.
Reagan helped to end the Cold War by reconciling with former Russian premiere Mikhail Gorbachev, who initiated democratic reform in Russia.
“Are you comparing Gorbechev to Vladimir Putin?” Golodryga asked.
“Absolutely I am,” Rohrabacher answered.
Rohrabacher, widely considered one of the most pro-Russian members of Congress, has been mentioned as a possible choice for secretary of state. Such a pick would be consistent with President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to forge closer ties to the Kremlin over issues like international security.
Golodryga is married to Peter R. Orszag, who served as President Barack Obama’s budget director until 2010.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.