Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday defended tweeting out a photo from an online meeting with Ukraine’s president, dismissing complaints that participants were asked not to post anything on social media out of concern for the wartime leader’s safety.
Rubio insisted that his photo of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was shared before he and others were told by the Ukrainian ambassador not to share any information from the meeting. He also claimed that “there was no security risk” in what he did. The photo remained on his Twitter page Sunday morning.
“There were over 300 people on this call,” Rubio said in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “The details of the call were emailed to a bunch of people. And it was a nondescript picture unlike any of the others ― just like the other ones you’ve seen on the air. So there was no security risk there.”
Rubio further suggested that people who have complained about him posting the photo have done so because they want media attention.
“You’re always going to have a couple people who want their name in an article somewhere,” the senator said in a separate interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Democratic Reps. Dean Phillips (Minn.) and Jason Crow (Colo.) both called out Rubio and Daines for posting photos. Phillips called the lawmakers’ behavior “appalling and reckless ignorance,” while Crow chastised them for not taking the security concerns seriously.
“The lack of discipline in Congress is truly astounding,” Crow tweeted. “If an embattled wartime leader asks you to keep quiet about a meeting, you better keep quiet about the meeting.”
Zelenskyy has been working from bunkers since Russian troops invaded Ukraine and has survived at least three assassination attempts by Kremlin-backed assassins in the past week, according to a Times of London report published Thursday.
Representatives for Grassley and Daines did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday.