Policy

Rubio in Mideast When Trump Closed Deal

Florida senator has been deep in Hill work since ending his White House bid

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio met with the Qatari foreign affairs minister, right, and the U.S. ambassador to Qatar on Monday. (Courtesy office of Sen. Marco Rubio)

As the Republican primary process came to a close , one former Trump rival had moved on — to the other side of the world.  

Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, is in the Middle East getting updates on the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, during the Senate recess.  

He was traveling in Iraq and Qatar as Donald Trump closed the deal in the Indiana primary on Tuesday and became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee .  

"ISIS cannot be allowed to continue to control vast swaths of land in which they not only commit barbarities but also train and plan attacks against the U.S. and our allies," Rubio said in a statement.  

The Florida Republican met with U.S. ambassadors and service personnel in the region, as well as a range of Iraqi and Qatari officials, including the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. His Washington office circulated photos after the meetings.  

Rubio also visited with Masrour Barzani, the chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council in northern Iraq.  

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also met with a C-17 crew in Baghdad on Tuesday. (Courtesy office of Sen. Marco Rubio)
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also met with a C-17 crew in Baghdad on Tuesday. (Courtesy office of Sen. Marco Rubio)

Rubio has been a fixture on the Senate floor since he suspended his own White House bid on March 15.  

[Related: Rubio: Too Glib for His Own Good] He's been a regular attendee of Foreign Relations hearings, and he's been seen going to the Intelligence Committee's closed-door briefings since his return to Capitol Hill.  

Trump's other major rivals have also now moved on, including the last two challengers.  

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out following their Indiana primary losses.  

Rubio will be in the Middle East throughout the week, his office said.  

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.