Florida senator Marco Rubio spoke about Ukraine, Russia, and American foreign policy this morning on Meet the Press:

Senator Marco Rubio: “Moving forward, if you look at, for example, Secretary Kerry a moment ago mentioned success with the START Treaty. Yet, we know that the Russians have basically violated every major treaty they’ve ever entered into. We’ve seen how they’ve basically lied. Let’s call it what it is. They are lying and this government is a government of liars, the Russian government.”

“You’re dealing with a government that lies as a matter of course, and it’s very difficult to enter an understanding with them on anything when they are willing to lie and cover things up in this way.”

NBC News’ David Gregory: “You’re saying, as you did in a piece that you wrote for Politico about how to confront Russia, that we’ve got to the use blunt talk. So I ask you for some blunt talk. Is Russia an enemy of the United States now?”

Rubio: “I think they’re increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and international norms. If you look, after the end of World War II and certainly through the Cold War era, the spread of democracy and freedom and established norms for nations to interact with one another so we would never have another world war. Russia, under this President Putin, does not seem interested in any of that. So they are an enemy of that. And they are certainly, as it regards to that, an enemy of the United States with regard to those things I just outlined. And if you look at the positions they’ve taken, on issue after issue, Russia has been an obstacle to U.S. national interests.”

Gregory: “You’ve also been focused on foreign policy challenges in our hemisphere in Venezuela, as there are protests there against the Maduro government and a crackdown against protesters in the streets. What would like to see this administration do?”

Rubio: “Well two things. First, I think we need to clearly pronounce ourselves as more than just ‘concerned’ about what’s happening in Venezuela. We need to say very clearly the United States, and its people and its government are firmly on the side of the ambitions and desires — the rightful desires — of the people in the streets, the students and young people protesting against these violations. Beyond that, I would like to see specific U.S. sanctions against individuals in the Maduro government that are systematically participating in the violation of human rights and anti-democratic actions. I think those two steps would go a long way in that regard.”

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