Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that foreign leaders are overreacting to the news that U.S. agencies might be spying on them, arguing the response is driven by domestic politics and that the news should not come as a shocking revelation to world leaders.
“These leaders are responding to domestic pressures in their own country,” the Republican lawmaker said on CNN’s “New Day.” “None of them are truly shocked about any of this. … (E)veryone spies on everybody. I mean, that’s just a fact.”
Mr. Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was responding to the uproar from European officials over reports that the U.S. has been monitoring the communications of national leaders.
President Obama on Thursday reassured German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the government is not snooping into her text messages and phone calls — at least any more.
“We’re not going to comment on every specific alleged intelligence activity,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “The president spoke with Chancellor Merkel, reassured her the United States is not and will not monitor the chancellor’s communications.”
On Friday, Mr. Rubio said that he realizes that when he travels abroad that his cell phone, iPad and other communication devices could be monitored by foreign intelligence agencies.
“So I think a lot of what you’re seeing from these European leaders is for the domestic consumption of their own public, but at the end of the day, everyone knew there was gambling going on in ‘Casablanca,’ ” he said.