Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’


Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump must send Russia powerful message through tougher actions McCain, Coons immigration bill sparks Trump backlash Taking a strong stance to protect election integrity MORE (R) dismissed a Fox News report on Thursday that claimed Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerRegulators push for ‘coordinated’ approach to bitcoin trading House funding bill includes bipartisan Medicare reforms Overnight Tech: Mulvaney reportedly froze Equifax hack probe | Dems want new restrictions on Comcast-NBC | NJ gov signs net neutrality order | Senate confirms patent chief MORE (D-Va.) texted with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who promised access to Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial dossier alleging ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump’s desire for military parade: ‘We have a Napoleon in the making’ MORE and Russia.

Fox News reported Thursday that Warner had “extensive contact” with lobbyist Adam Waldman in March of last year, whose firm also has ties to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says ‘no justification’ for covering up breach Grassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law ‘Homeland’ in the Trump era tackles the ‘deep state’ MORE. Warner was seeking to establish contact with Steele as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

In a tweet Thursday, Rubio (who also sits on the committee) tweeted that Warner had disclosed the contacts to the committee last year, and that they had “no effect” on the committee’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Americans and Russia during the 2016 election.

“Sen.Warner fully disclosed this to the committee four months ago.Has had zero impact on our work,” Rubio tweeted.

The Florida Republican has been a rare source of support for Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE‘s special counsel investigation in recent months amid mounting Republican criticism against the FBI and Mueller’s team of prosecutors over the Russia investigation and perceived bias against the president.

In December, Rubio said he “remain[ed] convinced” that Mueller would conduct the Russia investigation in a “fair and balanced” manner.

“From his reputation and everything I know about him, I remain convinced that when this is all said and done, Mueller is going to only pursue things that are true and he will do it in a fair and balanced way,” Rubio said in an interview.

“I think the best thing that can happen for the president, for the country and for everyone is that he be allowed to complete his investigation as thoroughly and as completely as possible and that we allow the facts from the investigation to lead where they may,” he added.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional investigations into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Warner, the committee’s top Democrat, said last month that “extraordinarily important” new documents had been obtained by the committee in its ongoing probe.

“We’ve had new information that raises more questions,” he said in January.



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