Sen. Marco Rubio showed a lighthearted side during CNBC's interview on Wednesday, responding to the social media firestorm surrounding a photo that allegedly showed him awkwardly greeting Ivanka Trump with a hug.
Rubio, who unsuccessfully challenged her father Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, joked on "Squawk Box" that it "wasn't a hug," when asked about the purported embrace that apparently started with a tweet from an Associated Press correspondent.
Ivanka Trump arriving at the Capitol greeted by Sen Rubio. She's now meeting with lawmakers on child tax credit.
Rubio said on CNBC with a smile, "That's been fully investigated. We looked at that deeply. It's important that people know senators are capable of carrying out a traditional greeting. And so, I stand by our investigation. He added, "It wasn't a hug. But that's fine. We stand by the investigation."
At the Florida senator's invitation, Ivanka Trump was on Capitol Hill Tuesday to talk about pro-family tax reform. Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made light of it in a tweetstorm on Tuesday.
Just left Intel comm & informed meeting 2day with @IvankaTrump blowing up twitter over alleged failed hug! Investigating. Will respond soon
New photo emerges providing more insight into alleged failed hug. (Faces blurred for security purposes)
BREAKING NEWS: Additional photo from moments right after today's alleged failed hug provide new details to this developing story.
For her part, Ivanka Trump joked that "Marco is an excellent hugger."
Anonymous sources say @marcorubio planned the alleged failed hug. I have no comment (but I would have hugged him anyway!
Based on review of evidence & my own recollection, have concluded no hug was even attempted & press covfefe of alleged failed hug is false
Rubio's comment on "covfefe" was referring to the social media explosion that occurred recently when President Donald Trump sent out a tweet with what appeared to be a typo.
One of Ivanka Trump's brothers weighed in on Tuesday's hug or as Rubio said the "no hug."