On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he would oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee for the next secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo. He will also oppose Pompeo’s nominated replacement in the spy agency, CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel.
From The Hill: Paul said that he will oppose the nominations and “do everything I can to block” them.
“My announcement today is that I will oppose both Pompeo’s nomination and Haspel’s nomination,” Paul said.
The report continues: The senator pointed to his previous statement that Pompeo doesn’t believe “enhanced interrogation techniques” to be torture, as well as his support for the Iraq War, in explaining his opposition.
“I’m perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next. I think it goes against most of the things President Trump campaigned on,” he said.
Paul is opposing Haspel because she was involved in the enhanced interrogation program during the George W. Bush administration.
According to Paul, Haspel showed “joyful glee at someone who is being tortured.”
“I find it just amazing that anyone would consider having this woman at the head of the CIA,” Paul said.
Paul is the first Republican to say he will oppose the two nominations, and he was the only Republican to vote against Pompeo’s appointment as CIA director last year.
From the report: Paul’s opposition to Pompeo complicates, but doesn’t sink, his path to leading the State Department.
Republicans have an 11-10 advantage on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, making Paul a key vote.
However, Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) could decide to move Pompeo’s nomination to the floor anyway, under some circumstances. He indicated Wednesday that Pompeo would get a full Senate vote, even with Paul’s opposition.
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