Presidential races

Rubio skipping hearing on North Korea for fundraiser

Marco Rubio is scheduled to attend a fundraiser in the Florida Keys Monday night one hour into a classified hearing on North Korea’s recent missile test, even as the Florida senator continues to face criticism about his attendance record in the upper chamber.  

The Senate Foreign Relations Hearing scheduled for 5 p.m. is titled “Assessing the Recent North Korea Nuclear Event.” It includes testimony from four government representatives, two from the State Department, one from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and one from the Defense Department. 
But Rubio’s presidential campaign is hosting a fundraiser in Key Largo billed as “An Evening Reception with Senator Marco Rubio.”
{mosads}Alex Burgos, a spokesman with Rubio’s Senate office, told The Hill that the senator will return to Washington on Tuesday.
“Senator Rubio will be in Washington tomorrow to receive a classified intelligence briefing from intelligence staff on North Korea and other issues, and to participate in a classified Intelligence Committee meeting on terrorism,” he said. 
“He will also meet with the King of Jordan about the refugee crisis and other issues affecting our alliance, vote in favor of auditing the Federal Reserve, and attend the State of the Union.”
Rubio has been a vocal critic of North Korea since the reported test of what the country claims is a hydrogen bomb. His campaign was the first to put out a statement on the test last week, where he warned that America needs “new leadership that will stand up to people like Kim Jong-un and ensure our country has the capabilities necessary to keep America safe.”
Rubio regularly mentions his Foreign Relations slot, as well as his role on the Select Committee on Intelligence, as proof that he is better prepared to serve as the nation’s commander in chief than his presidential rivals. 
But he’s drawn flack from his rivals on both sides of the aisle for skipping votes and hearings while on the trail. He’s skipped 36 percent of votes since last January, according to GovTrack, more than any other presidential hopeful serving in the Senate. 
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