09/20/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/20/2020 10:08
Miami, FL - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Sunday Morning Futures to discuss Florida's role in the 2020 election, the possibility of a deal between TikTok and Oracle, and the actions of the FBI in the Russia investigation. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
On Florida's role in the 2020 election:
'I could save people a lot of money on polling - Florida is going to be a one-point state, half a point state in one direction or another. It's going to be close, that's where it's going to wind up. I actually feel pretty good for the President's chances here. He's overperforming in areas like Southern Florida, where he's going to lose - like Miami-Dade county, it's a big Democratic county where my home is - but he's going to lose by less than he did in 2016 and he's going to narrow our margins and he's going to be just be as strong, if not stronger, in other parts of the state. So I feel pretty good about the trend lines for the President in Florida, but it'll be a close race.'
On the possibility of a deal between TikTok and Oracle:
'I think Oracle worked really hard to put together the best deal possible. My concern remains this - if that code, the code that gives the instructions to the system on what to do, if China continues to control the code, as I understand they would in this deal, they could put in that code an instruction to secretly send data back to China - to the mainland. No matter where the actual data is housed, there can be something in that code that sends it the other way. Oracle says no way, they know enough about this and they can prevent it from happening. I think we have to be very careful in looking at that provision, because if there's any opportunity whatsoever for China to continue to collect personal data on Americans, then we can't be supportive of that deal. So that's the core and the crux of it that we'll be looking at.'
On why the Intel Committee denied Senators Johnson and Grassley access to records from the Russia probe:
'Well two things. The first is they're not asking for documents, they are asking to review the transcripts of interviews, and when that deal was put together I wasn't chairman at the time, but Senator Burr and Senator Warner told the witnesses that we won't turn over your testimony to our committee unless you agree to that. So that's the problem - that's the crux there. The second thing about the Intelligence Committee - everybody has to understand - it's unlike these other committees where a chairman can do whatever they want. Both the Vice Chairman and the Chairman have to agree. The third is, if they want to interview these people they most certainly have the right to issue subpoenas and interview whoever they want.'
On the actions of the FBI in the Russia investigation:
'The 2016 election report makes it very clear that the FBI behaved very poorly with the things they did in 2016, and the aftermath of that election. We pointed out those things. For example, the reliance on this dossier that actually the Intelligence Community, including the CIA, told the FBI not to use those documents, that they weren't reliable. Every single one of the intelligence agencies, separate from the FBI, said that the dossier was not the kind of document they should be relying on, we shouldn't even be talking about it because it could very well be something the Russians completely made up and put out there ... in order to create all sorts of havoc.
'The implications here are frightening and that is you could go and hire some former spy from anywhere in the world, to go up and make up stories and put it in this document and get someone in the U.S. Government to put the official seal of approval on it as something that is serious and have it leaked on the eve of an election and influence the outcome of an election. That is the implications that could have happened here, it all happened post-election. We spent two years fighting off the ridiculous things that were in that dossier and the Intelligence Community told them, we don't know what this thing is, some of the stuff doesn't even add up, don't use it. And they insisted on using it anyway for their own internal purposes, and went to a court and relied on it for a court. So there was clearly wrongdoing and that's in the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee and that's why I'm glad Senator Graham is taking it on and we'll learn more here. ...
'Here's the bottom line, some people in the FBI wanted that document to be true - that's the fundamental problem - and it wasn't. … When you knowingly lie to a court it is [criminal]. I have a feeling that there are things that they did that we don't even know about yet that are far worse than what's been publicly revealed. ... Clearly there was perjury and lying to a court, but the question goes deeper and that is, was it knowingly part of a broader effort, a coordinated effort, where a bunch of people in law enforcement sworn to uphold the law colluded to violate it. We'll let the facts speak for themselves and find out soon enough.'