Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, defended tweeting an image from an online meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy despite complaints from the meeting's participants that he'd been told not for security purposes.
Rubio claimed that he tweeted the photo before attendees were instructed by the Ukrainian ambassador not to share any information from the meeting, insisting that his decision did not pose a "security risk."
You can hear what he said in the video below.
Speaking in an interview with ABC News television host George Stephanopoulos, Rubio said:
“There were over 300 people on this call. The details of the call were emailed to a bunch of people. And it was a nondescript picture unlike any of the others ― just like the other ones you’ve seen on the air. So there was no security risk there.”
Rubio later suggested that his critics are angling for media attention, saying that there are always "a couple people who want their name in an article somewhere."
Zelenskyy, whose leadership has captivated the international community–to say nothing of the general public–in the days since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine, has been working from bunkers for his own safety.
Ukraine's allies have openly discussed securing a line of succession in Ukraine in the event that Zelenskyy is captured or killed by Russian forces. The Ukrainian constitution is unclear on the matter and Zelenskyy has made clear that he does not want to be evacuated, preferring to stay and maintain his countrymen's morale.
Given these facts, Rubio has faced scathing criticism for potentially jeopardizing Zelenskyy's safety.
Rubio isn't the only Republican to break protocol in regard to Zelenskyy's safety.
Steve Daines, a Senator who represents Montana, has also faced criticism for posting a picture of Zelenskyy to social media while the call, which involved more than 300 lawmakers and their staff, was in progress.
Daines has not removed his tweets and hit back at critics in a statement saying that he shared the photo "before it was requested not to and well into the call" and insisted that "it had no identifying information."