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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio criticizes Trump's latest defense of Putin



WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday joined other Republicans in criticiizing President Trump's latest defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with Bill O'Reilly that will air in full on Sunday afternoon, Trump said “it’s better to get along with Russia than not," repeating his stance. O'Reilly came back, "But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”

Replied Trump: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”

Rubio this morning weighed in on Twitter, asking, "When has a Democratic political activists been poisoned by the GOP, or vice versa? We are not the same as #Putin."

Rubio drew instant feedback from people who say he needs to oppose Trump with more than words. "So rather than talk why not do something to block Trump agenda?" asked Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.

Other top Republicans reacted similarly. Sen. Mitch McConnell said on CNN: “I don’t think there’s any equivalency between the way that the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does. I’m not going to critique the president’s every utterance, but I do think America is exceptional. America is different. We don’t operate in any way the Russians do. I think there’s a clear distinction here that all Americans understand, and no, I would not have characterized it that way.”

[Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2017 2:23pm]


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