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Marco Rubio's awkward hug with Ivanka Trump sparks Twitter debate

Awkward hug
Awkward hug 00:42

Just before a Capitol Hill meeting on Tuesday on tax reform aimed at helping families, attended by President Trump's daughter and top White House adviser Ivanka Trump, a hug between the eldest Trump daughter and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, left some on social media wondering if the brief encounter was more of a snub.

The awkward embrace was captured by photographers, showing Trump appearing to be standing still, clutching her handbag, as Rubio went in for a warmer greeting.

Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, is greeted by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as she arrives at the Capitol to meet with lawmakers about parental leave, in Washington, on Tue., June 20, 2017. AP

According to a statement released by Rubio's office, Trump joined Republican lawmakers to discuss tax reform focused on families, in particular, the child tax credit.

While Rubio said he was "glad to see strong support for pro-family policies," it was the hug left the greatest impression, sparking running commentary from the two involved.

Rubio, seeming to poke fun at the various ongoing Congressional investigations, launched into his own Twitter sleuth mode, after he was informed of the perception of an "alleged fail hug" with Trump.

"We are also attempting to acquire multi-angle video which we believe will provide greater insight into this important matter," Rubio quipped.

Rubio then tweeted out his own smoking gun, releasing two photos of the encounter, showing Trump placing a hand on Rubio's shoulder.

"Based on review of evidence and my own recollection, have concluded no hug was even attempted and press covfefe of alleged failed hug is false," the Republican senator reported, alluding to President Trump's famous Twitter gaffe that evolved into it's own debate over the meaning of "covfefe."

But Ivanka Trump tweeted her own version of events, saying "anonymous sources say Marco Rubio planned the alleged failed hug. I have no comment (but I would have hugged him anyway!)"

Ivanka Trump later claimed Rubio's reporting was "fake news" and that he is an "excellent hugger."

Even her brother Donald Trump Jr. chimed in on "hug gate," saying that "there really needs to be more hugs in politics, even failed ones."

The meeting on tax relief came after House Speaker Paul Ryan made a speech on overhauling the nation's tax code, which he vowed would be completed this year.

Mr. Trump's daughter is expected to return to the Hill on Wednesday to meet with House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and other members to discuss paid leave and other issues affecting families.

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