- Sen. Marco Rubio, a frequent Trump critic, rebuked the President's detractors
- The President warned North Korea not to threaten the US again
Washington (CNN)Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate foreign affairs committee, defended President Donald Trump's stark warning to North Korea in a series of tweets Thursday morning.
"Attacks on @potus for statement on #NorthKoreaNukes are ridiculous. They act as if #NorthKorea would act different if he used nicer words," Rubio tweeted.
The statement is a direct response to bipartisan criticism of the ultimatum Trump issued to North Korea on Tuesday. Speaking at a photo op at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump warned North Korea not to threaten the United States again or it would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Rubio's defense of the President's comments is at odds with the opinions of some of his colleagues in the Senate -- including Republicans -- who criticized Trump for the harsh rhetoric.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR that he takes "exception to the President's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do." He added that, "The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act, and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act."
Democrats, like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, slammed Trump for his "bombastic" comments. Sen. Ben Cardin, the Foreign affairs committee's top Democrat, compared Trump's comments to those issued by North Korea itself.
In his tweets, Rubio also defended Trump's immigration proposal but also urged the President to impose additional sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Rubio was among many Republicans in the 2016 presidential primary and he and Trump had a heated and at times publicly contentious relationship last year. Since Trump's inauguration, the two have found some common ground and had dinner together in February.