GOP lawmaker: Julian Assange is a ‘very honorable man’

GOP lawmaker: Julian Assange is a ‘very honorable man’
© Getty Images

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) praised WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an interview published on Wednesday, calling him honorable. 

"He's a very honorable man," Rohrabacher told CNN

The California congressman visited Assange last August at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to discuss the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which Assange has said he believes was an "inside job" and not perpetrated by the Russian government.

ADVERTISEMENT

After his meeting with Assange, Rohrabacher said there was no evidence to suggest the hacking of the DNC was spearheaded by the Kremlin.

"He said, 'I have physical proof that the Russians did not give me this,' " Rohrabacher told the network, referring to his conversation with Assange. "And [Assange said] 'I have physical proof that I would be very happy to provide once I can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without being arrested.' "

American intelligence authorities believe that Assange acted on behalf of Russian operatives to release the hacked Democratic emails.

Rohrabacher has touted pro-Russia views in the past. 

He said in November that the FBI and Senate Intelligence Committee were looking to interview him about his meeting with Assange. 

The New York Times reported last year that Rohrabacher also held a meeting with senior Russian official Alexander Torshin last year. 

The publication reported that Senate investigators learned that Torshin previously tried to set up a backdoor meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign, according to an email turned over to investigators.