Police on Mackinac island are investigating an incident involving aides for Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul
Paul aide John Yob alleges Rubio aide Rich Beeson hit him while they were at a bar Thursday night
Police on Mackinac Island, Michigan, said Friday they are investigating allegations of a bar fight between top aides for Republican presidential contenders Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.
John Yob, a Paul aide, alleged in a Facebook post early Friday morning that Rubio deputy campaign manager Rich Beeson hit him at a bar on Mackinac Island, where a number of Republican candidates have gathered for the weekend. Yob alleged in his post that he had video of Beeson assaulting him. He later provided that video to CNN.
Mackinac Island Police Chief Brett Riccinto told CNN Friday morning that he had not yet seen the video and wanted to review that, along with witness statements, before making any determinations. Police said a formal report has not yet been completed.
“Any time you’re at a bar past midnight things seem to get misconstrued as to what happened,” Riccinto said. “I’d really like to see this video.”
The video is grainy and details are difficult to discern, but it does appear to show a physical confrontation. Yob said the man who hit him in the video is Beeson, but CNN could not independently confirm.
Calls to Beeson’s office and cell phone were not immediately returned Friday morning.
“We’re aware of the initial media reports and seeing more reports,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said Friday.
Paul spokesman Sergio Gor declined to comment.
Yob said he will press charges against Beeson. He said he spoke to police Thursday night. He said he did not recognize Beeson at the bar.
When a CNN reporter asked Paul Friday night at Heritage Action’s presidential forum in South Carolina if Rubio’s deputy campaign manager hit one of his staffers, the Kentucky senator didn’t answer.
Instead, Paul simply threw up his hands as he walked away.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated Richard Beeson’s title. He’s Rubio’s deputy campaign manager.