June 4th, 2013
08:03 PM ET
7 years ago

Lawmaker: Actor’s martial arts skills opened doors in Russia

Updated at 8:12 p.m. ET on Tuesday 6/4

(CNN) – Access to top Russian officials by U.S. lawmakers was helped along by action movie star Steven Seagal – and more specifically the actor’s martial arts skills - the leader of a congressional delegation said Tuesday.

Speaking on CNN, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Seagal had fostered relationships with Russian leaders through his black belt skills, and arranged for American congressmen and women to meet those leaders last week.

“Because of his black belt in karate and things, he's gotten to know many of the leaders of Russia, including [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and was able to use that influence to make sure we got to talk to the very top people, so that we could try to find ways of expanding our areas of cooperation,” Rohrabacher, a Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Seagal is actually a 7th degree black belt in Aikido, a Japanese martial art, not karate.

The visit was intended in part to investigate aspects of April’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Ahead of the attack, Moscow had provided intelligence to the United States about one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, before he visited Russia last year. But recently, Russian authorities have been criticized for not telling the United States all it knew.

Rohrabacher said Tuesday he and other lawmakers were in Russia to “try to find out how we can expand the arena of cooperation between Russia and the United States in dealing with the radical Islamic terrorist threat, which is taking the lives of both of our people.”

Seagal, Rohrabacher said, has “taken it upon himself” to help fight radical Islamic terrorism.

“He helped us get down to the school where hundreds of young children were murdered by Chechen radical Islamic terrorists. He's helping us understand the radical Islamic insurgencies we're having to deal with.”

Filed under: Russia
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Steven Seagal / Chuck Norris 2016

    June 4, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Socialkenny

    Steven needs to give it up. Some people just never smell the coffee and realize when they should take a back seat. This just seems like a political stunt to me.

    June 4, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. Amazing

    We are really in trouble when we need Steven Seagal to serve as a diplomat.

    June 4, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  4. plain&simple

    Seriously? This is what congressman Rohrabacher is doing to help protect the United States? Wow...the GOP gets more scary every day. Please wake me up from this nightmare!!!

    June 5, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  5. Nothing At All

    Maybe Seagal should replace one of these worthless Republicans currently serving?

    June 5, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  6. A Kickin` Donkey

    Steven Segal is a bloated, mysogynistic, wanna_be poor actor. He is an embarassment to himself and the country.But by the Republican politicians standard [his financial net worth] he is worthy of being taken seriously enough to be part of a foriegn affairs delegation

    June 5, 2013 04:58 am at 4:58 am |