Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday said that it was “not helpful” for President Donald Trump to publicly withdraw sanctions against North Korea on Twitter.
“Something happened between the time it was announced and the time that the President put out that statement,” Rubio told NBC News’ Chuck Todd.
“I don’t know the answer to be honest. I don’t know why he would do that or why it happened the way it did. It’s unusual. It’s never happened before.”
In a tweet Friday, Trump said “It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea.”
Except no such thing had actually been announced.
Trump continued: “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”
It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2019
Asked for an explanation of the bizarre proclamation, the White House said simply that Trump “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”
Referring to his and the White House’s efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Rubio said Sunday that “on this part, at least with North Korea, it’s not helpful to have the Treasury Department go out and do something that’s been vetted and discussed” and to then have the President reverse it.
“Unless somebody made a mistake at Treasury and got ahead of themselves, it doesn’t make any sense why they would put something out there and a few minutes or a few hours later, the President revoke them,” Rubio said.
He added: “I think people around the world would look at it and say, from now on when they hear about sanctions, they’re going to ask for a double confirmation.”
THIS MORNING: Sen. Rubio reacts to President Trump's tweet pulling back North Korean sanctions, telling Chuck Todd "I've never seen this before." #MTP@marcorubio: "Something happened between the time it was announced and the time that the president put out that statement" pic.twitter.com/aWkmH913XX
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 24, 2019