Sen. Rand Paul a Firm 'No' on Pompeo's and Haspel's Promotions

By Susan Jones | March 15, 2018 | 6:36am EDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (Photo: Screen grab/C-SPAN)

( - A Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he'll do everything possible to block the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state and Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director.

In television interviews and in a statement on his website, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) explained his objections to both Pompeo and the woman nominated to replace Pompeo as CIA director, despite Paul's general support for President Trump:

What I liked about candidate Trump was his strong condemnation of the Iraq War. I believe President Trump has done a great job, and I continue to support him, but I cannot endorse his nomination of people who loved the Iraq War so much that they want an Iran War next. Director Pompeo has not learned the lessons of regime change and wants regime change in Iran.
I can’t support people who never understood America First and want to manipulate the President into the sphere of the neocons who never met a war they didn’t want to star in.  

President Trump sought to break with the foreign policy mistakes of the last two administrations. Yet now he picks for Secretary of State and CIA Director people who embody them, defend them, and, I’m afraid, will repeat them. I will not support their nominations.

Paul said he also objects to Pompeo's previously stated support for "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as waterboarding; and Pompeo's "support for maintaining and expanding the growing surveillance state, including calling in a 2016 Wall Street Journal op-ed for Congress to “pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database.”

Paul said CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel’s record on torture, including running a CIA “black site” prison in Thailand, should disqualify her from consideration for the position.

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