Exclusive: Rubio Won't Talk About WikiLeaks, and Neither Should Donald Trump
Rubio's stand puts him directly at odds with Donald Trump and other Republican.
By JONATHAN KARL and Benjamin Siegel
October 19, 2016, 8:59 AM
• 3 min read
-- Sen. Marco Rubio tells ABC News that Republicans are making a mistake by jumping on allegedly hacked emails released by WikiLeaks to criticize Hillary Clinton. In fact, he says he won’t talk about the hacked emails at all.
"As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process, and I will not indulge it,” Rubio tells ABC News. "Further, I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us."
Rubio's stand puts him directly at odds with Donald Trump and other Republicans, who have been relentlessly hammering Clinton and her campaign over the content of the hacked emails.
"WikiLeaks has provided things that are unbelievable," he said at a rally in Colorado on Tuesday, accusing the media of ignoring the leaks. "The media, you have to remember, is an extension of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It's an extension. And without that, she would be nowhere."
While Trump regularly slams the news media for not paying enough attention to the stolen emails, Rubio argues that making an issue out of the WikiLeaks disclosures plays into the hands of the Russian government.
"I will not discuss any issue that has become public solely on the basis of WikiLeaks," Rubio tells ABC news.
Earlier this month, the United States government publicly accused Russia for a series of hacks and email leaks that targeted U.S. political institutions — intrusions that top officials said were authorized at the highest levels of the Russian government.
For his part, Trump not only talked about the hacked emails in the first two debates but also raised questions about about whether Russia was really behind the hacking.
ABC News has not verified the authenticity of the alleged emails released by WikiLeaks. The Clinton campaign won't confirm or deny the veracity of the posted messages and has blamed Russia for the email hacks. The FBI says it is investigating.