Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is regarded as an intelligence source worthy of a Kremlin code name in Russia, according to The New York Times.
The Times on Tuesday reported that the FBI warned Rohrabacher about his prestige in Russia in 2012.
Two former intelligence officials told The Post that the FBI and senior members of the House Intelligence Committee sat Rohrabacher down about the matter that year.
The FBI and his fellow lawmakers warned Rohrabacher that Russian spies were trying to recruit him during the discussion at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“I remember them telling me, ‘You have been targeted to be recruited as an agent,’” Rohrabacher said of the 2012 talk. “How stupid is that?”
The Post reported that Rohrabacher in 2013 assumed the chairmanship of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee overseeing Russia policy.
Rohrabacher, who is a 15-term congressman, has long cultivated ties with top figures in Russia, including Vladimir Putin, the foreign nation’s current president.
The California lawmaker once claimed to have lost a drunken arm-wrestling match with Putin in the 1990s, but he says today that his constituents are more concerned with issues at home.
“I feel like I’m in a good shape politically,” he said of his latest re-election bid during an interview with The Times last week.
“My constituents couldn’t care less about this,” Rohrabacher continued. “They are not concerned about Russia.”
“They are concerned about taxes on their home. They are concerned about illegal immigrants coming into their neighborhood and raping people.”
Rohrabacher’s ties to Russia have come under fresh scrutiny, however, due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of its interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller is said to be be interested in a meeting Rohrabacher had last year with Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser.
Rohrabacher also said that the FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee want to speak with him about his meeting last August with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The House representative noted that he would talk with both congressional and federal investigators about such matters when his schedule allows.
Mueller’s investigation includes potential collusion between Russia and Trump’s election bid, a claim that the president has fiercely denied.