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Sen. Rubio’s tweetstorm after being seen ‘smiling’ at Trump’s rally



Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida fired back at observers who noticed him attending the kickoff rally in support of President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid, years after the two Republicans traded schoolyard insults during the 2016 US presidential election.

Rubio attended Trump’s first official reelection rally held in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday evening. Trump acknowledged Rubio’s presence in the rally and encouraged the crowd to applaud him and his Republican colleagues.

The senator posted several images and videos of the event on his Twitter account and captioned them with slogans from Trump’s campaign.

“Just arrived in #Orlando on [Air Force One] with [Sens. Rick Scott and Lindsey Graham, and Rep. Matt Gaetz] for tonight’s campaign kickoff for #Trump2020,” Rubio tweeted.

“It’s official #KeepAmericaGreat,” he added in another tweet.

Read more: Here are all the insulting nicknames Trump has used for 2020 Democratic candidates

Republican candidates Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.
REUTERS/Mike Stone

Rubio’s posts were noticed by some media personalities, including New York Times podcast host Michael Barbaro, who was a political reporter for The Times during the 2016 election, said on Twitter.

“Very strange, for those of who covered 2016 campaign, to see [Sen.] Marco Rubio smiling and chuckling in this audience,” Barbaro said on Twitter.

Trump and Rubio feuded during the Republican primaries for the 2016 US presidential election, often trading insults on each other’s physical characteristics. Rubio later said he would be supporting Trump as the Republican candidate because he “is the only other choice on the ballot.”

Rubio replied to Barbaro’s tweet three times by disparaging his previous reporting and mimicking journalists’ writing style for breaking news on Twitter.

“BREAKING In an unprecedented move a Republican Senator attended a rally in his home state in support of the re-election of a Republican President,” Rubio said on Twitter.

Rubio downplayed Barbaro’s reporting by referencing a 2015 report that described a “decade of big financial ups and downs.” The Times’ characterizations of Rubio’s boat in the piece was later called out by Politico.

“[By the way], this is the same reporter who in 2015 after 3 weeks of meticulous investigative journalism uncovered that my wife had traffic tickets, I had a fishing boat [and] my home has big windows,” Rubio said in a tweet. “And in 2016 he broke the story that I had some boots with higher heel.”

Rubio warmed up to Trump’s policies and has often backed the president’s most controversial decisions. Rubio recently said he would support Trump’s now-scrapped plans for a 5% tariff against Mexico in order “to secure its southern border.”

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