Rubio: Trump’s missing the bigger picture on ZTE

Rubio also doubts much will come of talks with North Korea. "But I hope I'm wrong."
Sen. Marco Rubio appears on Face The Nation, May 27, 2018.
Sen. Marco Rubio appears on Face The Nation, May 27, 2018.
Published May 27, 2018|Updated May 27, 2018

WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio took exception Sunday with President Trump's stance on China's ZTE, saying he thinks Congress can step in, and expressed pessimism about a breakthrough with North Korea.

Appearing on Face The Nation, the Florida Republican said he spoke directly with Trump on Friday about ZTE and that he understood the president's position but did not agree in the broader context.

ZTE, he said, should be put out of business in the U.S. to send a strong signal to China.

"If this was just a company that did something wrong and needed to be punished, the president's right," said Rubio. "I don't just view the ZTE issue through ZTE alone. I view it in the broader context of what China is trying to do overtake the United States by stealing and by cheating and they're not going to stop until they know there are real consequences for doing it."

Related: Rubio on Trump's China approach: 'Not Winning'

Rubio said he was hopeful that Congress could pass legislation barring ZTE and other China companies from operating in the U.S., and do so with a supermajority vote thwarting Trump.

On North Korea, Rubio said: "My suspicion remains that he is going to try to get as much sanctions relief as possible without having to give up his weapons. And I think it's going to be a lot of twists and turns along the way to to try to get there if it's even possible. But I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to see them denuclearize. I just I'm not very optimistic about that."