Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was speaking to the press outside the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing with top executives from Facebook and Twitter when he got an unexpected visitor: InfoWars’ Alex Jones.
As reporters from CNBC and other mainstream outlets asked Rubio questions about what those tech companies are doing to protect against foreign influence in U.S. elections, Jones repeatedly shouted his own conspiracy theories about the Democrats and China at the senator.
“Is that a heckler?” Rubio asked, laughing. “I just don’t know who you are, man,” he added as an enraged Jones fumed and accused the senator of helping to “deplatform” him from his social media accounts last month.
“I swear to god, I don’t know who you are, man,” Rubio told Jones, who seemed baffled that anyone could not be aware of his outsized presence.
When Jones, who once made the baseless claim that Rubio engaged with gay prostitutes in the 1990s, put his hand on Rubio’s shoulder, the conversation took an aggressive turn. “Hey, don’t touch me again, man,” the senator said. “You’re not going to get arrested,” he added. “I’ll take care of it myself.”
At that point, Jones accused Rubio of threatening to “beat” him up, saying, “You are literally like a little gangster thug.”
As Rubio tried to continue answering questions, Jones kept interrupting him with self-promotion until the senator finally said he had to go. “You guys can talk to this clown,” Rubio said as he walked away.
Following the confrontation, Rubio spoke to reporters about Jones, saying, “I know you’ve got to cover them, but you give these guys way too much attention. We’re making crazy people superstars. So, we’re going to get crazier people.”
“I see some scrubby guy walk up to me, step to me, acting all crazy. I didn’t know who he was,” Rubio added. “I know the name, I know all the crazy stuff, I just don’t know what he looks like.” Asked if he feared for his safety when Jones touched him, Rubio replied, “I just asked him not to touch me. He didn’t do it again.”