Rubio: Trump asking China to launch Biden investigation not 'a real request'

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses 'The worst news': Political world mourns loss of Kobe Bryant Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee MORE (R-Fla.) suggested Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE was joking a day earlier when the president called for Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE (D).

Rubio claimed that Trump's remarks to journalists a day earlier at the White House were meant to rile up members of the media who would be "outraged" at the suggestion.

"Do you think it's OK for President Trump to ask China to launch an investigation of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden?" a reporter asked Rubio.

"I don't know if that's a real request or him just needling the press knowing that you guys were gonna get outraged by it," Rubio responded. "He's pretty good at getting everybody fired up, and he's been doing it for a while now, and the media responded right on task."

Rubio also declined to say whether he would support an impeachment inquiry into the president, calling for more information to be released before members of Congress made their decisions.

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"I support .. .here's a good idea: Why don't we wait for all the information to come forward before people start making decisions or pronouncements, one way or another?" Rubio said. "Rather than just reflexively circling the wagons or rushing to judgement, how about waiting for everything to come forward, looking at it all, and then coming to judgement."

Rubio's stance is decidedly more moderated than other Senate Republicans, some of whom have declared that Trump did nothing wrong in a July conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky where the president attempted to persuade Zelensky to investigate Biden over allegations that he used the vice presidency to shield his son from investigation in the country.

Rubio is a frequent critic of the president, and was a top contender for the Republican nomination for president before conceding his bid in 2016 after losing his home state of Florida to Trump.