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Marco Rubio on Sean Penn: Interview ‘Grotesque’ but Legal

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio blasted actor Sean Penn for interviewing Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, but also acknowledged that there was nothing illegal about it in an interview Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week.”

“If one of these American actors who have benefited from the greatness of this country who have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn over a criminal and drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a Constitutional right to do it,” Rubio said to host George Stephanopoulos.

But he made clear his opinion on the Guzman interview as well: “I find it grotesque,” he said.

Rubio also praised as “fantastic” the fact that Penn interview ultimately led to the capture of Guzman last week.

The Florida politician also made clear that as he runs for president, this isn’t exactly a matter high on his priority list, adding he “doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about Sean Penn.”

Rubio is unlikely to be the last to criticize Penn, who has stirred a vigorous debate on social media about his actions. Reports disclosed yesterday that he and soap-opera actress Kate del Castillo conducted a clandestine interview with the Mexican drug lord in a jungle clearing. Rolling Stone magazine published the article late Saturday.

Later on the same program, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough had strong words for Guzman, whose comments in the interview he labeled “appalling.” But he stopped short of indicating whether Penn would be subject to federal scrutiny. “We’ll let somebody else sort out what Sean Penn did and didn’t do,” he told Stephanopoulos.

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