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ICYMI: Rubio Joins The Brian Kilmeade Show
Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Brian Kilmeade Show to discuss improving school safety, the Biden Administration collaborating with the Maduro regime, and the latest on Ukraine. See below for highlights and listen to the full interview here.
On proposals to increase school safety:
“The first thing is we have to understand what it is we’re trying to solve. I think what we’re trying to solve here, repeatedly now — it was true in Parkland, it was true in Texas, it was true in Buffalo a week before that — you have some marginalized, isolated young man who feels like he’s been wronged by society. They start making threats. They become obsessed with guns. They start showing signs that this is the direction that they’re headed. They feel like they’ve been violated and so forth, and then they take action.
“The key is, can we identify people that are doing this, heading in this direction, and intervene before they take that final step? These are not people that wake up one morning after a completely normal life snap and go and shoot up a place. These are people that are showing the signs and now the pathology is well established. So the question is, do we have a system in place to identify and then do we have the tools to intervene? That’s why since 2018, I’ve been working on trying to do something about it.
“We’ve tried to do something about [increasing school safety] since 2018. The first was the threat assessment system, the TAPS [Act]. It’s also been incorporated in something called the EAGLES Act and it’s using the Secret Service’s threat identification center to help apply that so that school districts, local sheriffs, police departments, and local communities can use that to identify people through a variety of different means that are headed in this direction.
“The second is, can you intervene? Can you get involved before they take action? With Florida, we have red flag laws where law enforcement can go to court and get a temporary order … The fundamental truth here is these people are passing background checks because they’ve never committed a crime before. By the time when they do commit a crime, it’s these horrific acts. To me, that’s the most effective way. Identify them and stop them before they act.
“The third point is, in addition to identifying the threat and having the tools to intervene, can we make schools a place where you can’t just walk in and shoot up a place? There has been money since 2018 to utilize. That’s why that clearinghouse exists and we tried to put it into statute so it becomes permanent. Senator Chuck Schumer blocked it, but that’s an idea that a Parkland father came up with and has been working hard at.
“It’s not just the money part of it, but also understanding the best way to spend that money. What are the things that work? What are the best practices? It’s a clearinghouse that goes to these best practices and is constantly being updated so that school districts have available to them information about what the best practices are so they’re not wasting money on things that don’t work.”
On how Florida changed school safety after the Parkland shooting:
“Number one is the school hardening. It was money put towards this. A clearinghouse has been very helpful because the school district goes out and [there’s going to be] one hundred vendors come and say, ‘Oh, we’ve got the best thing in mind.’ You have to understand what has been proven to work? What are the best practices? What is the state of the art so you’re not wasting your money?
“The other is the state-level red flag [law.] What happens is the police department can now say, ‘Okay, we’re looking at this guy, he’s putting these threats up. If he tries to go buy a gun, we want to make sure the background check has a red flag on it. If he has guns, we want to be able to remove [those guns] from them. So he doesn’t, in many cases, kill themselves, not to mention other people.
“And there’s due process. You have to go in front of a court. It’s like a restraining order. You have to offer these. I think it’s best at the state level. I don’t believe a federal law would be a good idea because you have to go to federal court and so forth. There’s penalties, by the way, for false claims. This is not the kind of thing people can go around accusing an ex-boyfriend or an ex-husband in order to get back at them, because there’s penalties for doing that. That’s why law enforcement has to step forward and do it. You get due process. You get to go before a court and it’s not forever. It’s temporary. … it gives us a chance to have these people adjudicated as mentally deficient, if that’s what they are. Right now, these people are going in the wrong direction and there’s nothing happening until it’s too late.”
On the threat assessment process:
“It’s so important that all this [background] information be fed into a threat assessment process … People don’t realize the way the Secret Service protects its protectees, including the president, they are aware of people out there that fit the profile of a potential presidential assassin. They know who these people are. They know where you live. So, if you’re going to take a trip to that city on that day, with the president, they know where that person is on that day, they already know ahead of time. These are the people that fit the profile of someone that would take a shot at the president. That’s what the threat assessment does. We know it works. That has to be applied, obviously, at the local level. That involves multiple people feeding into the threat assessment, because a bunch of people are going to see those threats. The school district, the local law enforcement, family, friends, social media companies, hospitals, and the juvenile justice system. But none of that right now in many places is being combined so you don’t get a full picture of that person.
“When [the individual] turn[s] 18 or 19, they walk into a [gun] store and the only thing the criminal background check is going to tell you is whether that person has either been adjudicated as mentally ill or whether that person has committed a crime before, and therefore isn’t eligible to buy a gun. In many cases, they’ve done a lot of things that are worrisome, but they haven’t violated the law. You’ve got to add new information to that, and that’s why this is a valuable thing. People are worried that that means it’s going to be used to take people’s guns. It’s been used in Florida now over 3000 times. There really are very few, if any, instances of it ever being used in a wrong way, and it probably has prevented some tragedy from occurring here because you’re able to get ahead of it. You got to get ahead of these things. It’s almost too late by the time they go out and try to buy a gun.”
On the Biden Administration working with Maduro to purchase foreign oil:
“Oil is the excuse. The truth of the matter is, Venezuela has no oil to send. They have no productive capacity. 80 to 90 percent of their oil goes to China to pay off the debt they owe. The other 10 percent automatically goes to Cuba …
“What happens is you have a bunch of people in this administration that want to get closer to Maduro [and] want to cut a deal. Oil is the excuse, but the practical impact of it isn’t just immoral. It is demoralizing, and in many ways just strikes almost a fatal blow to the credibility of the opposition in Venezuela.
“We have a policy of recognizing the interim government, the legitimate government. But we’re undermining them by doing these deals. It actually strengthens Maduro internally. There are excuses always going to the negotiating table, and he’ll agree to go to any negotiating table. He used negotiations in the past. He manipulates them, and it never results in anything, and he’ll do it again.”
On the latest happening in Ukraine:
“I think there is a legitimate concern about this [conflict] expanding or becoming these deep strikes into Russia. But there’s a difference between that, which is an offensive attack against Russia and a defensive action.
“If you are launching weapons against Ukrainian cities from Russian territory, you have a right to defend yourself against that weapon system by eliminating it. That’s different from saying we’re going to go into Russia and we’re going to go deep into Russia, which is not the weapon systems they’re asking for, and try to take Russian territory away from them.
“They are launching from areas inside of Russia against Ukraine. The only way to defend yourself against that system is to take it out. You can’t allow the fact that they’re standoff weapons that are in the territory of another country to keep you from doing it.
“I think the biggest problem we have here is that the U.S. role, what our goal is, and what our plan is for Ukraine is not well thought out. All these decisions about what systems to send and what to provide has to be based on a strategy which this administration has not outlined yet. They’re going to keep coming back for more money. We can’t keep giving money towards something that doesn’t have a plan, an endgame, or a goal.”
On how the U.S. should outline its goals in the Ukraine-Russian conflict:
“The key is it has to come from the president, the commander in chief. The White House has to outline a plan, ‘This is what our goal is in Ukraine. We want X, Y and Z.’ Then the military has to devise an actual strategic and tactical plan to achieve it. The military comes up with tactical things or plans to accomplish a goal. But the goal, what is America’s goal here and what is it that we hope to look like when it’s over, that comes from the White House. I don’t think the president has clearly articulated that yet, and I think that that could be only getting worse as this thing evolves into something different now.”