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Rubio Lukewarm on Trump’s Human Rights Approach

The Florida senator disagreed with the White House’s approach, but admitted they got results.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed an ambivalent view toward the Trump administration’s human rights efforts in an interview on CNN on Sunday.

Host Jake Tapper read out an excerpt from President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia, telling Rubio, “Senator, frankly I cannot imagine you ever saying anything like that when standing in a country like Saudi Arabia.”

Rubio agreed. “That would not have been part of a speech I would have delivered.”

Rubio said that it served U.S. national security interests to advocate for human rights, and pointed out that the Trump speech did call for a gradual introduction of those rights around the world.

“I would tell you that the White House and I have a different approach on the issue of human rights,” Rubio said.

“I’m much more forceful and open and vocal about criticizing, whether it’s Egypt or Saudi Arabia, for its human rights record,” he continued.

The Florida senator added that the Trump administration has made its human rights push “in private” and admitted that it had “gotten results.”

“Aya Hijazi was released from Egypt and Sandy Phan-Gillis was released from China,” Rubio pointed out.

However, Rubio said that there is much more work to be done in the realm of human rights.