Republican presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is criticizing a recent Rolling Stone interview with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman as "grotesque," just days after Mexican authorities took the drug kingpin into custody.
Rubio told ABC News that actor Sean Penn, who wrote and reported the magazine article, certainly had a "constitutional right" to conduct the interview.
"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 all over a criminal and a drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a constitutional right to do it," Rubio said Sunday.
But, he added, "I find it grotesque."
The Florida senator further dismissed Penn as "not someone I spend a lot of time thinking about."
"I didn't even know he was still around," Rubio said. "I think he made movies a long time ago or something."
According to one Mexican official, Penn's visit to the drug lord was what led authorities to his capture.}
In the secret interview, Guzman, who has escaped Mexican prison twice, defended his leadership of the Sinaloa drug cartel, saying he wasn't responsible for skyrocketing addiction rates.
"No, that is false, because the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all. Drug trafficking? That's false," he said.
Another 2016 contender, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, however, argued that the world's most wanted trafficker has indeed done "incredible harm."
"I'm glad this, you know, this drug cartel leader has been caught," Sanders told ABC News in an interview Sunday. "People like him have done incredible harm to people in our country and to his own country."
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough also said on ABC that he was "appalled" by Guzman's "bragging... about an epidemic that's sweeping this country on heroin addiction."
The Obama administration official told Fox News Sunday that he would "welcome extradition" of Guzman to the United States."
"I'd like to see El Chapo on -- in prison," McDonough said. "And I'd like to make sure that the bragging that he did last night...that we've read about in these newspapers is something that he can't continue to do."