Sen. Marco Rubio hesitated Thursday to dismiss whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice in asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the Russia investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
"I'm not prepared to reach a conclusion on that, because we're not done with all the other pieces that are missing," the Florida Republican told reporters after Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The comments by Rubio, who sits on the panel, were reported by The Washington Post.
Panel members still needed to hear from Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers about reports that Trump tried to influence them to get Comey to drop the probe, Rubio noted.
"I don't think anybody would leave this hearing and say to you that what the president said in the Oval Office on the 14th of February was appropriate," he said.
In the Feb. 14 conversation, Trump suggested that Comey drop the Flynn investigation.
Rubio also would not say whether the president's actions "rises to criminality," though he acknowledged that other congressional Republicans have "significant doubts" about that.
He also questioned why no one in the administration "advised the president about what's appropriate and what isn't when you're interacting with the FBI," the Post reports.
"I'm not saying he would have listened to it," Rubio said.
The second-term senator also told reporters that legislators needed to understand the activities of Trump's advisers regarding the president.
Were they, he questioned, dealing with "a concerned, orchestrated effort to impede justice, or is this an unconventional non-politician who, because he has not worked in government before, either doesn't understand or, quite frankly, is not interested in convention?"
Rubio and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas met with President Trump over dinner on Wednesday at the White House.
Did Trump bring up the Moscow probe and the committee's role in its investigation, the senator was asked.
"No," Rubio said, the Post reports. "And if he would have, we would have gotten up and walked out."
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