Congressman Tells Reporter That Claims Of Russian Human Rights Abuses Are "Baloney"

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a reported candidate to be Secretary of State under Trump, accused a reporter of "bias" for having been born in the former Soviet Union.

In an exchange with Yahoo News on Wednesday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher dismissed claims that Russia has a human rights issue and accused the reporter interviewing him of bias against Moscow.

The exchange began when Rohrabacher defended President-elect Donald Trump's call with Taiwan's president as a strong signal to China.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"The dictators in China are not our friends," Rohrabacher declared, saying later that he was glad that Trump would take the call from Taiwan "even if it makes the gangsters in Beijing angry."

Rohrabacher is reportedly under consideration for the Secretary of State position under Trump, telling Yahoo that he was honored to be in talks with the incoming administration for a possible role.

"If it's right for us to join in and cooperate and have a better relationship with Russia in order to defeat radical Islam and to pull China back a bit, well, that's a good thing, and that's what this is all about," Rohrabacher said.

Sergei Karpukhin / AFP / Getty Images

"Russia is no longer the Soviet Union," the congressman once described as Russian President Vladimir Putin's favorite continued. "There's a bunch of people here who want to treat it like it's still the Soviet Union and get in the Cold War. That's not what Donald Trump wants — it's not good for America."

"But let's call a spade a spade," Yahoo News anchor Bianna Golodryga insisted, "when you talk about human rights abusers in China, much can be said about Russia as well in that regard."

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

And that's when things got heated.

In the following exchange, the California congressman accused Golodryga of bias for having been born in the former Soviet Union:

Rohrabacher: Oh, baloney. Where do you come from? How can you say that?

Golodryga: I come form the former Soviet Union, that's where I came from. I came here as a political refugee. That's where I came from.

Rohrabacher: Oh, okay. What country did you say you came from?

Golodryga: I come from the former Soviet Union, from Moldova.

Rohrabacher: Oh, well then that's good, the audience knows that you are biased.

Golodryga: I'm biased, because I'm an American citizen who was born in a foreign country?

Rohrabacher: Yeah, yeah, when you start saying that Russia, do you know that there have been no political reforms in China? None.

Golodryga: I'm not saying, I'm not advocating that China be our best friend. I'm talking to you about Russia right now.

Rohrabacher: You just said that Russia and China are the same. I'm sorry, they are not.

Golodryga: I said they are both human rights abusers. How am I wrong?

Rohrabacher: How are you wrong? In China they don't have opposition force?

Golodryga: And Russia isn't accused of murdering journalists?

Rohrabacher: Ah, okay, look. I'll let the public decide with that last comment where you are coming from.

"You're going by your heart and not the facts," Rorabacher told Goldryga after she pointed to Russia's alleged interference in the US elections.

Sergei Karpukhin / AFP / Getty Images

The interview ended on a chilly note, with Rorhabacher implying that Goldryga was not a real journalist. Rep. Rohrabacher's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he truly believes Goldryga's place of birth impacts her ability to conduct interviews.