Rubio: Obama 'weakened' US intelligence

Rubio: Obama 'weakened' US intelligence
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Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (R-Fla.) says President Obama has “weakened” the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to gather data that could help prevent terrorist attacks such as the one in San Bernardino, Calif., last week.

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Rubio cited a report that said the phone records of the alleged San Bernardino assailants only extend two years, making it difficult to paint a “complete picture” of how they carried out the attack, or with whose assistance.

“We only have access to the last two years, so it doesn’t give us a complete picture of, for example, the U.S. citizen’s involvement for the last five years,” Rubio said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “So, I hope the president will work with us to reverse that so that the intelligence agencies have access to the full picture.”

“He’s also issued a series of presidential directives that have weakened our ability to gather intelligence against potential adversaries, so I hope that will be changed as well,” he added.

Rubio said that, although intelligence had not flagged either of the suspects in the shooting, the alleged attackers may have been in contact with known or suspected terrorists.

“For them to conduct this attack, I think it is highly likely that they dealt with somebody at some stage of this process, whether it was a person who helped them finance this effort, or individuals that provided weapons, and that’s why you want access to the metadata,” he said.

Rubio said many phone companies are no longer required to store metadata, and terrorists may be taking notice.

“The law allows up to two years, but many of these phone companies have already said we’re not holding onto records at all,” he said. “By the way, I think those phone companies are the ones who are going to get a lot of business from people who intend to do this sort of thing.”

President Obama will address the San Bernardino attack in a speech from the Oval Office on Sunday at 8:00 p.m.