Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the vice-chair of the U.S. select committee on intelligence but his latest move leaves you wondering if he has any intelligence at all.
Rubio and fellow Republican Senator Steve Daines were criticized after sharing screenshots from a Zoom call with Ukrainian president Volodomir Zelensky despite being asked not to do so due to security concerns. There have been three failed assassination attempts on Zelensky since the start of the Russian invasion.
Democratic Congressman Dean Phillip tweeted in disbelief at the “appalling and reckless ignorance” displayed by Rubio and Daines, saying that, “the Ukrainian Ambassador very intentionally asked each of us on the zoom to NOT share anything on social media during the meeting to protect the security of President Zelenskyy”.
What’s even more frustrating is that there was literally no additional information or any discernible reason for the two Republican senators to share the picture aside from obvious clout chasing. Rubio wrote in his tweet, “’On zoom call now with President Zelensky of #Ukraine’. Daines also contributed nothing by tweeting alongside a screenshot of Zelensky, “Currently on a zoom call with President Zelenskyy”.
Florida Senator Rick Scott also distinguished himself during the call with the Ukrainian president by being asked to mute himself. “Senator Rick Scott, please mute your mic,” Zelensky said at one point during his emotional presentation to American lawmakers. It appears that Floridians can’t catch a break when it comes to embarrassing antics by their two U.S. Senators.
At one point during his emotional presentation, Zelensky paused to ask one of the American lawmakers to mute themselves.
“Senator Rick Scott, please mute your mic,” he said. https://t.co/ElfsEAtQ4y
— Alan Rappeport (@arappeport) March 5, 2022
The call between Zelensky and lawmakers included discussion of war crimes carried out by Russian forces in Ukraine, more military aid, and pleas to increase sanctions on Russia’s energy sector. Zelensky is also urging NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace, something that western powers are unwilling to do over the risk of further escalation with nuclear-armed Russia.
What was going through Rubio’s head after purportedly being told to not share images of Zelensky, who has survived three assassination attempts in the middle of an active warzone, and doing so anyway, is baffling. After the attempts on his life, Zelensky has stated that he is the “number one target” for Putin’s forces and has refused offers to evacuate him from the country despite the danger to his life.
Rubio has also received criticism for his lack of work ethic. He has skipped up to fourteen Senate hearings over the past few months and has been notorious for skipping votes and briefings to attend campaign fundraisers since his 2016 presidential campaign. He missed five hearings of the Foreign Relations Committee in a row. We pay Rubio’s salary and he refuses to show up for work. If any of us did that we’d be fired.
Unfortunately for us, even when Rubio shows up to work, he is more interested in idiotic social media clout chasing, to the extent that he is willing to put in danger a foreign leader who is in the middle of an active warzone. Rubio should be immediately removed from the U.S. Select Intelligence Committee and voted out of office in November.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from @tomaskenn.
is a former reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a fomer Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.