Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he switched to support CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state after a face-to-face meeting to discuss his position of the U.S. role in the Iraqi War.
"The president called me last week and said would I meet with Pompeo personally to discuss this," the Kentucky Republican told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
"I did and asked him the same question in private that I asked in public — and I got a more complete answer when we discussed it.
"My question was very pointed: 'Do you agree with the president that the Iraq war was a mistake?'" Paul said.
The second-term senator, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday he reversed his longtime opposition to Pompeo's nomination after they talked privately over the weekend about many issues, including U.S. involvement in wars around the world.
"As we went through our discussion, more discussions with the president, and then again with candidate or nominee Pompeo, I was assured," Paul told Blitzer.
"He told me that not only privately does he believe this, but that we'll be hearing from him publicly.
"Also that regime change and the unintended consequences of our foreign policy of the last years have led to chaos and instability in the Middle East — and we need to try a new direction.
"Is he exactly where I am? No," Paul said. "I still wish that he was closer to where I am.
"But I could tell you from talking to the president three times in the last week, that the president is very close to where I am."
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