'Ridiculous': Analyst disseminates 'relentless partisan' Marco Rubio’s 'foolish rhetoric' on Trump indictment

'Ridiculous': Analyst disseminates 'relentless partisan' Marco Rubio’s 'foolish rhetoric' on Trump indictment
Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016 (Creative Commons)

Like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) was a scathing critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 GOP presidential primary but later became one of his outspoken defenders.

The Florida senator rushed to Trump's defense after the news broke that he had been indicted on four federal charges in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. And MSNBC's Steve Benen calls him out in a biting MaddowBlog opinion column published on August 3.

Defending Trump on Twitter, Rubio posted, "Apparently it is now a crime to make statements challenging election results if a prosecutor decides those statements aren’t true. So when should we expect indictments of the democrat politicians who falsely claimed Russia hacked the 2016 election?"

READ MORE: Text messages show RNC chair pushed indicted Trump's voter fraud conspiracy with AZ's Kelli Ward: report

In response, Benen — who produces "The Rachel Maddow Show" for MSNBC — slams "relentless partisan" Rubio's tweet as "a classic example of a politician pushing foolish rhetoric that he even can't seriously believe."

"First, the idea that the former president was charged with 'making statements challenging election results' is evidence of the apparent fact that Rubio complained about an indictment without reading it, which was unwise," Benen argues. "Second, for the Floridian to suggest that Trump's bonkers conspiracy theories related to the election are merely at odds with the special counsel’s opinions — as opposed to reality — is plainly ridiculous…. But the truly amazing part of his missive was the senator trying to link together Trump's election scandal and those who have the audacity to believe the Russia scandal."

Benen continues, "As Rubio characterized it, there's an equivalence between the former president trying to overturn an election and seize illegitimate power, and those who 'falsely' accused the Kremlin of targeting the U.S. elections in 2016 to benefit the Republican ticket."

The "Rachel Maddow Show" producer adds that Rubio himself chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee when that panel released its findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

READ MORE: Fox News labels Donald Trump the 'President of the United States' and Joe Biden a 'wannabe dictator'

"What makes this so striking is not just the nonsensical nature of Rubio’s attempted point," Benen writes, "but also, the fact that Rubio, as much as any Republican politician anywhere, knows the truth…. This, of course, was the same Senate panel that literally described a 'direct tie between senior Trump campaign officials and the Russian intelligence services' as part of its official findings."

READ MORE: Bill Barr’s 'ominous' message to Trump

Steve Benen's full column for MSNBC's MaddowBlog is available at this link.

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