Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Wednesday his sudden change of heart on CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination for secretary of state came after he, the president and Pompeo shared opinions they want to end some of the ongoing wars in the Middle East.
"I think the president and I do connect on a certain level," Paul told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "When I talk to him about foreign policy and my desire to end some of these wars – and that we've been there too long – he is right on there . . . that's what he is for as well. We share a vision on that."
The particulars might not all be the same, Paul said.
"I wouldn't send another soldier to Afghanistan," he said. "There is no military solution there. Pompeo admits that. The president admits that. But they are willing to linger a little longer than I would.
"The president asked me to meet with [Pompeo]. What I heard from him in private, we'll hear in public. Regime change hasn't worked well in the Middle East."
In addition, the war in Iraq was a mistake, Paul said Pompeo agrees, as it "emboldened Iran and made Iran stronger and led to a vacuum and chaos in the Middle East when we topped [Saddam] Hussein. We did the same thing in Libya and have chaos. They say should we top [Bashar] Assad? What do we get when we topple him?"
However, he said he does not think he can simplify their conversation to the point of saying foreign intervention would not any longer take place.
"I would say that Pompeo has assured me he shares the president's vision on foreign policy," Paul said. "That's more of a general statement. I'm for not sending another soldier. I'm not so sure the president is exactly where I am. The president says he does not want to remain in Syria and said that publicly. He does not want to remain in Syria for years and years . . . there was chaos before we got there and chaos after we leave."
Paul said he has good friends who were severely wounded in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and he is trying to end those.
"I will draw attention – I was able to draw attention to this," Paul said. "It got the president and I communicating about war and communicating with Pompeo about war in a way that wouldn't have been happened had I not resisted. I don't think we would have gotten the conversation to this level."
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