Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio leapt to Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner’s defense Thursday night after a new report revealed Warner exchanged text messages with a top lobbyist for a Russian oligarch.
Warner texted back and forth with lobbyist Adam Waldman in an effort to contact former British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, Fox News reports. Waldman previously represented Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska, who is known to be close to Putin.
Warner appears to have tried to keep secret his contacts with the lobbyist, saying in one text he would “rather not have a paper trail.”
Despite Warner’s apparent effort to keep the conversations secret, Rubio defended the Democratic senator as being transparent with the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Sen. Warner fully disclosed this to the committee four months ago,” Rubio wrote on Twitter, adding that the material has “had zero impact on our work.”
However, as The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross pointed out: if Sen. Warner disclosed the texts “four months ago,” that would have been several months after Warner exchanged the texts.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 9, 2018
4 months ago is 7 months after he exchanged the texts. https://t.co/yOkLPJbr3B
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 9, 2018
The texts were turned over to the intelligence committee last September, according to the Fox News report.
The 21 pages of texts were made public by Fox News and can be seen below. Read TheDC’s full report on Warner’s text messages here.