Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., accused a journalist who is a refugee from the former Soviet Union of bias in an interview Wednesday.
Rohrabacher, who has emerged as a potential pick to be President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of State, has defended policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During an interview with Yahoo News, anchor Bianna Golodryga shifted from discussing China to asking about Russian human rights abuses, which led Rohrabacher to scoff.
“Where do you come from?” Rohrabacher asked, to which Golodryga replied she was a refugee from Moldova in the former Soviet Union and became an American citizen.
“Oh, and that's good,” Rohrabacher said. “Then the audience knows you’re biased.”
Rohrabacher responded by saying that China has conducted no political reforms and has no opposition party unlike Russia, to which Golodryga asked about Russia being accused of murdering journalists.
“I’ll let the public decide on that last comment where you’re coming from,” he said before adding he worked as a speechwriter to former President Ronald Reagan.
“Maybe you forgot that Ronald Reagan was the one who reached out to Gorbachev,” he said in reference to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over its opening up to the West.
Asked if he was comparing Putin to Gorbachev, Rohrabacher responded, “Absolutely I am.”
“The fact is they were both leaders of a very powerful country that we need to be friends with if we’re going to have peace in the world,” he said.
Before the interview took a turn, Rohrabacher did tell Golodryga that he had talked to “some people high up in the transition team” about the secretary of State position, but that he wasn't at liberty to discuss details of those conversations.