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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio knocks Trump's Secretary of State pick over ties to Putin



Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday criticized Donald Trump's pick of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state over the ExxonMobil CEO's ties to Russia.

"Being a 'friend of Vladimir' is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState," Rubio wrote on Twitter.

It is the most overt criticism Rubio, a one-time adversary of Trump who came to support him, has made as the new administration comes together. Rubio has been a vocal critic of Putin and has signaled support for investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the election -- an idea Trump scoffed at on Sunday.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said on Fox News Sunday. “I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it . . . No, I don’t believe it at all.”

Rubio's words follow those of other Senate hawks, including John McCain, who said Tillerson's ties are "a matter of concern," and Lindsey Graham who called it "unnerving."

[Last modified: Sunday, December 11, 2016 1:36pm]


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