Rand Paul Vows to Oppose Trump’s State Department, CIA Nominees

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) pledged Wednesday to oppose President Donald Trump’s nominees to head up the State Department and the CIA, complicating their path to confirmation in the Senate. The libertarian senator said he was “perplexed” that Trump would nominate Mike Pompeo as secretary of State, given his support for regime-change in Iraq, and choose Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director, given her participation in the agency’s infamous torture program. “I find it just amazing that anyone would consider having this woman as the head of the CIA,” Paul said after reading Haspel’s “gleeful” statements about so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. “Certainly, there is a career officer at the CIA who did not directly participate in waterboarding that we can nominate,” he added. “Rewarding someone who was in charge of something so heinous is a really big mistake.” Paul, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, did not rule out a filibuster to prevent Pompeo from being confirmed. —Andrew Desiderio