Senator Marco Rubio and President Donald Trump spoke via phone this weekend to discuss China “”and the long-term threat it poses to the U.S.” In addition to speaking to the Florida senator, President Trump also called other lawmakers including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Senator Rubio voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, which he explained would strip out a provision that would reinstate penalties against ZTE. He noted that his vote was a protest vote.
In response to the vote, the senator noted that “I have never opposed an NDAA, and I have supported every single one of them, despite the fact that they didn’t have everything I wanted or everything I liked—until today.”
He added that “We have yet to realize what a significant threat China poses to this country and in every realm and sphere. And until we do, we are going to continue to be in danger of surrendering and forfeiting our way of life and our place in the world, and if we do that, the world will be worse off for it and we will have no one to blame but ourselves for failing to act.”
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President Trump has tried to ease up on ZTE, but Senator Rubio has positioned himself as a loud critic on China.