Dana Rohrabacher, Putin’s Favorite Congressman, on Verge of Losing His Seat to Democrat Harley Rouda

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher—the pro-Russia Republican who once boasted about a drunken arm-wrestling contest with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 1990s—appears to be losing his seat to Democrat Harley Rouda. As of Wednesday morning, with all precincts counted, Rouda has a lead of more than 2,680 votes; “several thousand” provisional and late vote-by-mail ballots are still to be counted, The Orange County Register reports. Rohrabacher has been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and his deeply Republican 48th House District in California re-elected him for three decades running. He was dubbed “Putin’s favorite congressman” after it was revealed that he used information he received directly from the Russian government to promote one of the Russian president’s top priorities: removing the name of the murdered Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from a global anti-corruption law. FBI agents also once warned him that he was so favored by the Kremlin that he was considered a target for recruitment by Russian intelligence operatives. Rouda is a real-estate executive and former Republican who switched parties. He said ahead of the election: “President Trump has changed everything.”