Rubio: Recent controversies 'things you typically see in the third world'

"These are things you typically see in the Third World from unestablished republics and other places," Rubio told Fox News in an interview set to air on the "O'Reilly Factor." "You don't see that here."

Rubio said the compounding incidents were "increasingly leading" to questions about the president's leadership.

"There's three different incidents that basically use the government as an instrument of political activity, to target your political opponents, to make life difficult for people that are saying things that you don't like, to make life difficult for whistleblowers that are saying things about the State Department that you don't like," Rubio said. "And I believe that all that comes from the top of any organization."

Rubio also said the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press phone records was intended to having a chilling effect on the media.

"The message is clear, and that is, if we don't like what you're saying or what you're doing, we're going to use the apparatus of government to intimidate you and make you very uncomfortable," Rubio said.

Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney looked to push back against characterizing the stories as a trend, telling reporters "you have to separate these issues." He went on to emphasize that the White House had no involvement in either the seizure of the AP phone records or the IRS targeting of conservative groups.