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Marco Rubio incites online mob against ‘Salt Bae’ chef who dined with Venezuelan leader

Marco Rubio incites online mob against ‘Salt Bae’ chef who dined with Venezuelan leader
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has tweeted the address and phone number of an internet celebrity chef, inciting his followers to harass the ‘weirdo’ for the 'crime' of hosting Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro for dinner.

The salt-sprinkling chef, famous for his appearance in the ‘Salt Bae’ meme, whose name is Nusret Gökçe, hosted Maduro and his wife at his Istanbul restaurant over the weekend, and showed off his famous guest in a now-deleted Instagram post. Maduro feasted on a $275 steak, smoked cigars with Gökçe, and described his visit to the eatery as a “once in a lifetime moment.”

The dinner drew condemnation from Venezuelan opposition activists, who complained Maduro was feasting while his countrymen "suffer and die of hunger," per opposition leader Julio Borges. Others accused Gökçe of “feeding the pain of a people and the ego of a dictator.”

Joining the indignation was Rubio, a frequent critic of the government in Caracas. He first slammed the “weirdo” Salt Bae for hosting the “overweight dictator of a nation where 30% of people eat only once a day & infants are suffering from malnutrition.”

After discovering that the salt-slinging meme chef owns a steakhouse in downtown Miami, the senator then tweeted out its address and phone number “in case anyone wanted to call.”

Rubio’s Twitter-doxxing of the Turkish chef has raised some eyebrows on the platform. Senators, one commenter argued, “shouldn’t harass their constituents.” Another suggested Twitter should suspend Rubio for violating the platform's rules unless he deleted the tweet.

Rubio reacted to criticism by saying he got "pissed" at seeing the "disgusting" video of Maduro dining in Istanbul.

“All I gave was the phone number – this isn’t a political disagreement," Rubio told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, adding that Maduro "is a criminal."

The government in Caracas has been a constant target for Rubio, who called Venezuela “the new Cuba” in a 2014 Senate speech. Since then, Rubio has pushed for tougher sanctions against the Latin American country, has encouraged a military coup against Maduro, and has spoke in favor of US military intervention in Venezuela.

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