Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Wednesday described the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, which was forced to close Tuesday night, as “the central node of a massive spy operation,” in an interview on Fox Business.
“This consulate is basically a front,” Rubio told “Mornings With Maria” the morning after the consulate was ordered to close “to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information,” according to the State Department.
“It’s kind of the central node of a massive spy operation — commercial espionage, defense espionage, also influence agents to try to influence Congress,” Rubio added. “They use businessmen as fronts in many cases to try to influence members of Congress and other political leaders at the state and local level. So it’s long overdue that it be closed. What’ll happen is the secretary of state, probably already has démarched the ambassador, called him in, told him we are going to do this, told him why. Given their agents, that we know who they are, 72 hours to leave the country. If they don't leave within 72 hours they’ll be arrested as spies."
Rubio said, “When your embassy or consulate is closed, they start destroying everything in there, they have a plan of destruction. For us the Marines are in charge of doing that if someone closes our embassy. So they’ll burn documents and shred documents and destroy computers and so forth. … Now what will happen is the Chinese will respond. They will close one of our facilities somewhere in China, probably Wuhan.”
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