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Marco Rubio: WikiLeaks boycott a matter of national security

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio expanded his concerns Wednesday about WikiLeak’s reports regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying that paying any attention to them can foster national security problems through international blackmail.

Speaking to the media after a meeting with Puerto Rican leaders in Florida, Rubio repeated, emphatically, his assertion that he will not discuss anything appearing in WikiLeaks regarding Clinton, urging all fellow Republicans to join him in boycotting the reports. He is convinced they are part of a Russian plot to disrupt American elections.

Rubio, a Republican running for re-election, first made such a declaration Tuesday on ABC News.

On Wednesday, at the Acacia’s El Centro Borinqueno in Orlando, Rubio said he is convinced by American intelligence advisors that Russia is behind the leaks, and said that is one way Russia is known to attempt to interfere in other countries affairs.

Using prospective leaks for blackmail of foreign leaders is another tactic of Russia’s, Rubio warned.

“We don’t want to be in a country where foreign governments are able to blackmail our officials or interfere with our politics,” Rubio said. “There are plenty of disagreements with Secretary Clinton that I have that are outside of that source.”

Rubio is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“Do we really want to live in a country where foreign intelligence agents can blackmail our public officials if they threaten that if we don’t do what they want, they’re going to release your daughter’s emails, or your son’s emails, or your wife’s emails?” Rubio continued. “Today it’s [Democrats]. Tomorrow it could be us. Or everyone for that matter.”

“This is what Vladimir Putin does to the former Soviet republics: he blackmails leaders and interferes with their elections,” Rubio added. “This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is an American issue.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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