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

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio calls on Airbnb to delist some properties in China's Xinjiang region Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE (R-Fla.) suggested Friday that President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE was joking a day earlier when the president called for Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale 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.


"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.