Rubio skips fundraiser to attend North Korea briefing
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Facing criticism over missing votes and key hearings to campaign for president, Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE has cancelled his appearance at a Florida fundraiser and will instead attend a classified hearing late Monday afternoon on North Korea's recent claim that it launched a hydrogen bomb. 

The senator's spokesman told The Hill Monday afternoon that the candidate will now attend the Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing, which includes testimony from the State Department, the Defense Department and intelligence officials. 
 
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Rubio had been scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Key Largo that started one hour after the start of the hearing.
 
Alex Burgos, a spokesman in Rubio's Senate office, told The Hill earlier Monday that the Florida senator would return to Washington Tuesday for a closed Senate Select Committee on Intelligence briefing expected to discuss the North Korea test and other issues.  
 
Rubio has often touted his national security experience, chiefly his positions on the Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee, to make the argument that he's the party's best choice to lead the nation's military. He also issued a strongly-worded condemnation of North Korea's test, when it claims it tested a hydrogen bomb, just hours after the news went public. 
 
But his rivals have sought to frame him as not prioritizing his duties in the Senate, as he's racked up more missed votes than any other senator on the trail according to GovTrack. 
 
A super-PAC supporting Jeb Bush panned him for missing a closed hearing after the terrorist attacks in Paris, but the Rubio camp countered by noting that he had already attended a more intimate briefing for members of the Intelligence Committee.  Chris Christie has also stepped up similar attacks on Rubio's record in the past few weeks, as Bush, Rubio and Christie all vie for the title of establishment favorite ahead of the New Hampshire primary. 
 
Rubio has repeatedly pushed back at these attacks, arguing that its a necessary evil since he would be able to "fix America" as the president. 
 
A reporter with The Hill saw Rubio enter the hearing at 6:20 p.m., more than an hour after the briefing began. Two senators has previously told reporters that Rubio was not in the hearing.
 
-- Jordain Carney contributed. This story was updated at 7:01 p.m.