Rubio defends Sessions's meetings with Russian ambassador

Rubio defends Sessions's meetings with Russian ambassador
© Getty Images

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE (R-Fla.) defended Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE on Sunday for meeting with a Russian diplomat during the election, calling Sessions’s misleading Senate confirmation answers unintentional.

“I don't believe it was intentional in any way, because at the end of the day it was not the kind of thing that Jeff Sessions does and it's not kind of thing that would be easy to hide, and nor would there be any reason,” Rubio on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Rubio repeatedly said that it is the job of ambassadors to meet with congressional lawmakers.

“Ambassadors try to meet with people all the time. I literally meet with dozens of ambassadors and so do most senators, especially those on committees that touch upon foreign affairs and foreign relations,” Rubio told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Rubio said the “hysteria” about the former Alabama senator's answers during his Senate confirmation hearing stems from Sessions not being forthcoming with his meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Rubio, when asked whether Kislyak is a Russian spy and spy recruiter, said most embassies have “some intelligence component associated with it.”

“It's not had a mystery, not him in general, that virtually every embassy in Washington, D.C. has some intelligence component associated with it, and that's just the nature of diplomatic facilities, not just in Washington but all over the world,” Rubio said.

Sessions met with Kislyak during the election, but did not disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearings when he was asked about Trump aides being in contact with Russian officials.