After initially expressing serious concerns about Donald Trump’s pro-Russia secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio sold out and fell in line with fellow Republicans on the foreign relations committee.
Rubio’s vote – which was in question until earlier today – pushed Tillerson over the top by a single vote with the committee confirming him on party lines, 11-10. All Republicans voted in favor of Tillerson, while the Democrats on the committee opposed him.
Rubio recently expressed visible frustration during Tillerson’s confirmation hearing when the former CEO would not call Russian leader Vladimir Putin a war criminal for his country’s involvement in the Syria and interference in last year’s presidential election.
“Those are very, very serious charges to make, and I would want to have much more information before reaching that conclusion,” Tillerson told a frustrated Rubio.
“What’s happening in Aleppo is in the public domain, the pictures are there,” Rubio shot back. “It should not be hard to say that Vladimir Putin’s military has conducted war crimes in Aleppo.”
Tillerson, who was awarded the Order of Friendship from Putin in 2013, wouldn’t definitively say the Russian president was behind the election cyberattack that helped elect Trump last November. When it came to slapping sanctions on countries like Russia that engage in such attacks, Tillerson said he “would have concerns.”
Despite the public back-and-forth between Rubio and Tillerson, it was likely a backroom, 90-minute meeting that pushed the Florida senator in the right direction and led the Senator to his announcement today that he would support Trump’s pick, despite his obvious misgivings.
When it comes to Rubio, though, none of this should surprise us.
After calling Trump a con man during the primary campaign, Rubio ultimately put his party before the country in getting behind him during the general election. In the same way, the Florida senator talked tough during Tillerson’s confirmation hearing but eventually sold out and voted in favor of the Putin puppet – all but guaranteeing his approval when he comes to a full vote in the U.S. Senate next week.
As the Democratic Party said Monday after the Florida senator announced his decision, Rubio “is not only rolling over for Donald Trump, he’s earning the nickname Trump gave him: ‘Little Marco.’”