Sen. Marco Rubio accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of throwing a “temper tantrum” on the Senate floor Tuesday by canceling an intelligence briefing on election interference because of a standoff over Republican efforts to vote on a Supreme Court justice.
Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted that Schumer and other congressional Democrats have recently demanded more election-related intelligence briefings.
Democrats had complained that John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, planned to end in-person briefings because of leaks of classified information about foreign governments’ efforts to meddle in the upcoming election.
Ratcliffe later reversed course and agreed to provide some briefings to intelligence committees.
Bill Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was scheduled to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee about election-related interference. (RELATED: Rubio Expects More Indictments In Durham Probe)
During a speech on the Senate floor, Rubio asked consent to hold the briefing with Evanina.
Schumer blocked the request by invoking the so-called “two-hour rule,” which governs when Senate committees can meet while the Senate is in session.
“Reserving the right to object because the Senate Republicans have no respect for the institution, we won’t have business as usual here in the Senate. I object,” Schumer said.
Rubio issued a statement after the Senate floor standoff, pointing out that Democrats had “just a short time ago…demanded more briefings on election interference.”
“The Senate Intelligence Committee was scheduled to have a briefing today with Director Evanina, who leads our nation’s election security efforts. However, Senator Schumer had a temper tantrum over the Supreme Court and used a procedural move to cancel the Committee’s briefing,” Rubio said.
Democrats have expressed outrage that Senate Republicans plan to hold a vote on a Supreme Court nominee before the election in November. Schumer and other Democrats have argued that a confirmation vote should not be held until after the election. Republicans likely have the 50 votes they need to hold a confirmation vote on a Trump nominee. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a moderate Republican, announced earlier on Tuesday that he supports holding a confirmation vote.
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