The Unbelievable Story About the Time a GOP Congressman Got Drunk & Arm-Wrestled Vladimir Putin to Decide Who Won the Cold War

It seems that the Russians won the Cold War — at least according to a drunken agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

You’re confused. Let’s start from the beginning.

In a new interview with KPCC-FM, Rohrabacher told the unbelievable story about the time he got drunk and arm-wrestled with Putin to decide who actually won the Cold War. The alleged match occurred in Washington, D.C., in the early 1990s. Putin was only the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg at the time and not well known.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, poses to the press as he prepares for arm wrestling during his visits in the Seliger youth educational forum near Lake Seliger, some 450 kilometres (281 miles) northwest of Moscow, in the Tver region, Russia, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., right. Credit: AP

Putin and two other Russian politicians were in Washington, D.C., on business and Rohrabacher reportedly invited them to play “touch football.” It wasn’t long before the group wound up at a local pub, Kelly’s Irish Times, drinking and telling stories.

“Come to find out later it was Putin. I didn’t know who he was then. He was deputy mayor of St. Peteresburg. That’s all we knew. But he did have a huge bodyguard, so that did sort of give us a little hint that he’s more important than just St. Petersburg,” Rohrabacher recalled. “So we went out and played touch football. And Scooter Libby was one of the players, and a bunch of my right-wing friends were there. And so we all went over to this pub afterwards, the Irish Times pub.”

He went on: “We were having a little bit too much to drink, I guess. But anyways, we started arguing about who won the Cold War, etc. And so we decided to settle it like men do when they’ve had too much to drink in the pub. And so we got down to these arm wrestling matches. And I ended up being paired up with Putin. And he’s a little guy, but boy I tell you, he put me down in a millisecond. He is tough. … His muscles are just unbelievable.”

Credit: EPA

Put down in a “millisecond?” That’s just embarrassing.

“He’s a tough guy, and he’s supposed to be a tough guy. That’s what the Russian people want. But that’s not a reason we shouldn’t try to work with him,” the GOP congressman concluded.


(H/T: Washington Post)