Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Paul and McCain oppose Trump's CIA pick

Rand’s rep as Senate rebel on the line - POLITICO - Burgess Everett:

May 14, 2018 - "Rand Paul is once again the talk of the Senate.... [W]ith the Senate preparing for a nail-biter on Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel, the chamber is abuzz over the latest will-he-or-won’t-he Rand guessing game. The libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator says he’s a hard 'no,' but Democrats and Republicans believe he may yet fold under pressure from Trump, as he did with Mike Pompeo for secretary of state.

""Paul had a simple answer when asked if he again can be persuaded by the president to support one of his crucial nominees: 'No.'

"'Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America,' Paul said in an interview as he left the Senate for the week on Thursday.... In a POLITICO op-ed Friday, he criticized the CIA nominee for selectively releasing information about her record of harsh interrogation techniques on detainees and said 'that fact alone should be enough to cause the Senate [to] reject her nomination'....

"For Paul, it’s the latest test of his resolve in the face of enormous pressure from his party and the president to toe the party line....

"In February, Paul single-handedly caused a brief government shutdown by refusing to relent in his opposition to a budget deal, but then backed off before forcing a second one in March. In the case of Pompeo, he relented after being personally lobbied by the president....

"Paul does not serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will hold the first vote on Haspel’s nomination. Pompeo was first taken up by the Foreign Relations Committee, which Paul does sit on, and his opposition threatened an embarrassing 'unfavorable' vote by the panel.

"For now, Haspel is short of votes for confirmation. {Democratic Senators Joe] Manchin, an Intelligence Committee member, and [Joe] Donnelly support her. But other moderate Democrats ... are not yet behind her, and neither are Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

"Though he‘s unlikely to be present for the vote, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came out against Haspel last week over what he called her evasive responses to questions about the morality of torture, which he called 'disqualifying.' That marks one of the few times the hawkish McCain and libertarian-leaning Paul have agreed — McCain once called Paul 'wacko,' and Paul last year said McCain was 'unhinged' — on foreign policy."

Read more: http://gdspoliticalanimal.blogspot.com/2018/05/paul-and-mccain-oppose-trumps-cia-pick.html
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