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

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters Senators voice support for Iran protesters but stop short of taking action McConnell urges Trump to voice support for Hong Kong protesters MORE (R-Fla.) suggested Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE was joking a day earlier when the president called for Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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.