Marco Rubio's team sent Insider's Warren Rojas a bizarre email after being asked about an abortion bill.
The email, which looked like an assignment, included a deadline of September 19.
Read the email which comes as Rubio cosponsors Sen. Lindsey Graham's abortion ban bill.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is now playing assignment editor when it comes to abortion coverage, ordering Insider in a bizarre email to quiz Democrats about their stance on the polarizing topic or else face some sort of public shaming on September 20.
In the combative missive, Rubio deputy chief of staff Dan Holler demands that Insider get Democratic lawmakers on record about "what restrictions they support" and ask abortion provider Planned Parenthood about pregnancy-related issues.
Holler includes a deadline to respond (September 19), adding that the "results" will be published on September 20.
"Non-answers will be treated as an acknowledgment that your publication has NOT asked those types of questions to any federally elected Democrat," Holler wrote, accentuating the ultimatum by underlining and bolding the text.
It's not clear whether that email or a similar note was sent to other reporters.
The ominous note appeared two days after Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced a proposed national abortion ban several GOP colleagues shied away from. Rubio declined to endorse a specific abortion ban in May, but told Insider Wednesday that there was nothing inconsistent about his signing on to Graham's latest proposal.
"I didn't change my mind. I'll vote for any bill that saves lives," the visibly annoyed two-term lawmaker said at the US Capitol.
Rubio pointed to similarly restrictive abortion laws around the globe as proof of concept, characterizing Graham's polarizing bill as "more permissive than virtually every country in Europe, but two."
The issue, Rubio said, is that Democrats insist on "taxpayer-funded abortion on demand for any reason, at any time" and won't budge on that.
While noting that Graham's proposal is consistent with Florida law, Rubio indicated that he's somewhat open to negotiation.
"It's four months. But if they would accept five months, we'll do five months," Rubio said. He said he doubts there'll be any compromise because "Democrats won't vote for any restriction of any kind on abortion."
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