Senator Rand Paul said Wednesday that he will oppose President Trump’s nominations of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State and Gina Haspel for CIA Director. Reuters reports:
Paul also said he would “do everything I can” to block them.
He said Pompeo and Haspel both supported war in Iraq and want war in Iran, which he opposes, and criticized both for supporting the use of waterboarding and other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques widely considered torture.
Haspel has faced strong criticism for overseeing a secret Central Intelligence Agency prison where detainees were tortured in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I find it just amazing that anyone would consider having this woman at the head of the CIA. My opposition to her is over her direct participation in interrogation and her gleeful enjoyment at the suffering of someone who was being tortured,” Paul told a news conference.
Pompeo, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives, was confirmed as CIA director with the support of two-thirds of the Senate last year. Many legislators have said they are happy with his work at the agency, and expect he will be confirmed as the United States’ top diplomat.
Paul is the first Republican to come out against the nominations, which Trump announced on Tuesday. He was the only Republican who voted last year against Pompeo’s nomination to be CIA director.
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