Another day, another Republican breaks away from President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
The U.S. president has been having hard time keeping Republicans on his side after the catastrophic Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Republicans came after Trump in full swing as he appeared to have sided with his Russian counterpart, over the topic of election meddling, rather than the findings of his own intelligence agencies — he later backpedaled on his statement.
Now, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has come forward disputing one of Trump’s biggest claims: the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign. The POTUS has called it the “all time biggest political scandal!”
Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true - all time biggest political scandal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
However, on the topic of the FBI wiretapping Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Rubio thinks there was no wrongdoing. Page was under surveillance because he was believed to be working for Russia in order to tip the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“I don’t think they did anything wrong,” Rubio said during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I think they went to the court. They got the judges to approve it. They laid out all the information and there was a lot of reasons... for why they wanted to look at Carter Page.”
The statement comes after the FBI released documents including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications to surveil Page.
According to the documents, the FBI believed Page to be “the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian Government… to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”
Page, however, has called the accusations “beyond words” despite agreeing, after some serious pressing by Tapper, that he did serve as an “informal adviser” to the Kremlin in 2013.
Carter’s statements at the show were backed by Trump’s lengthy rant, in which he accused the FBI “misled the courts” and called the Russian investigation a “scam” — yet again.
Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents. As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of “Justice” and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Ask her how that worked out - she did better with Crazy Bernie. Republicans must get tough now. An illegal Scam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
Andrew McCarthy - “I said this could never happen. This is so bad that they should be looking at the judges who signed off on this stuff, not just the people who gave it. It is so bad it screams out at you.” On the whole FISA scam which led to the rigged Mueller Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
But Trump’s contentious efforts were apparently not successful in swaying Rubio, who also sits on the Senate intelligence Committee.
“I have a different view on this issue than the president and the White House,” he said on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” clearly not backing down from his refute of Trump’s claims. “They did not spy on the campaign from anything and everything that I have seen. You have an individual here [Page] who has openly bragged about his ties to Russia and Russians.”
“Yes, they were looking into this one individual ? but an individual the campaign themselves said was not a big part of their efforts,” he continued. “Therefore I wouldn’t consider that spying on a campaign.”
WATCH: "They did not spy on the campaign from anything and everything that I have seen," Sen. @marcorubio tells @margbrennan, refuting @realDonaldTrump's tweets this morning https://t.co/iYh1V1Di3U pic.twitter.com/7EJBHbWR48— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 22, 2018
The senator later took to his official Twitter account to double down on his refute of the POTUS’ claims of the Russian investigation being rigged.
The @FBI had many reasons to look into this guy. And looking into him is not “spying” on Trump campaign, because as the White House made clear last year, he was “not an ‘advisor’ to Mr. Trump in any sense of the word.” https://t.co/rhRUB87OVa— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 22, 2018
Both Gowdy and Ryan were also among the handful of top Republicans who attended a classified meeting in the wake of reports that FBI used a mole in its Russian interference investigation.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” Gowdy said in an interview on Fox News after the meeting.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan