Tags: Donald Trump | Iran | Marco Rubio | Russia | Trump Administration | Rubio | pompeo

Rubio: More Focused on Policies With Russia, not Summit

By    |   Wednesday, 25 July 2018 01:52 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday said President Donald Trump's policies on Russia have been stronger than those from the Obama administration or any other since the end of the Cold War.

Because of that, Rubio said he's focused on discussing policies, not the Trump-Vladimir Putin summit, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"I think the summit, as I said already before, I don't think it went very well for the administration," the Florida Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

"Then there is rhetoric and words and then there are actions and policies."

Rubio said he doesn't necessarily agree with all the words Trump used during his press conference after meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki last week, but the Trump administration has been strong against Russia.

"Mike Pompeo wasn't the one standing in Helsinki, and at the end of the day he is in charge of implementing the administration's policies through the State Department and that's what I'll focus on are policies," said Rubio.

"What are we going to do to deter the next attack in 2018 if Putin decides to interfere with our elections? What are we doing about NATO, Crimea, ISIS, and the talks with North Korea and the like? Those are the things I hope we'll focus on."

Rubio said he is as "anti-Putin as anybody," and told the program that "there is nobody here that has worked longer or harder on the issues of Vladimir Putin than I have."

But still, he said, he recognizes the need to have a relationship with Putin because of Russia's large stockpile of nuclear weapons.

"I want to make sure that relationship is based on the truth and reality of who Vladimir Putin is and what his goals are as they relate to the United States," said Rubio. "That's what I'm interested in, public policy, not a show to relitigate words. Policy is what I want to know about."

Meanwhile, Rubio said he finds it "kind of funny" that people wanted Trump to be more tough on Putin, but when he spoke "quite hard" against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's threats, "suddenly it's a bad thing."

"It's important we speak strongly when it comes to that," said Rubio. "Policies matter and I think policies on the Iran deal have been great. When someone threatens you, words do matter. I never meant to say they didn't. Policies matter more. But policies and words are strong in this case."

He does think the Iranian leadership is "facing the squeeze" from the Trump administration, including the pending threat of sanctions.

"They have a huge fuel shortage in the country," he said. "They don't know what they'll do. Ration, cut the price, raise prices? They have a long drought that is creating a lot of anxiety and people are angry. They see the money being spent to sponsor Hezbollah and Hamas but what about the people of Iran? They're facing tremendous pressure from within. This administration has had a role to play in that absolutely."

Rubio also discussed the president's tariff battle with China, and said he does not think the Asian nation "should be allowed to do business in the United States, period."

"China's economy is one big tariff, the most unfair deal you've seen in your life," said Rubio. "The Chinese basically say 'we want our companies to go to your country and sell anything they want, any way they want, and we want to buy anything we want. Your companies cannot come into China.'"

If companies are allowed in, said Rubio, the Chinese force them to partner with a Chinese company that steals their secrets and one day puts them out of business.

"Finally we have an administration that is standing up for them," said Rubio. "We're running out of time to get this right. They don't seek parity, they seek to overtake us and dominate us economically. We cannot allow that to happen. This is our last chance to confront it. I hope we stay strong on it. "

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Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday said President Donald Trump's policies on Russia have been stronger than those from the Obama administration or any other since the end of the Cold War. Because of that, Rubio said he's focused on discussing policies, not the Trump-Vladimir...
Rubio, pompeo, Russia, summit
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2018-52-25
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 01:52 PM
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