Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has said he won’t vote for President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, but many of his colleagues think he’ll flip just as he did on secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Politico reports.
Paul, who has a reputation as a libertarian who bucks GOP trends, told Politico in an interview last Thursday that he would not vote for Gina Haspel, Trump’s choice to lead the CIA.
"Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America," Paul said.
The senator made a similar statement about Pompeo, the former head of the CIA, when he was nominated to lead the State Department.
"I'll do whatever it takes" to stop Pompeo’s nomination, Paul said on CNN in March.
Trump “keeps appointing people around him who loved the Iraq War so much, that they're ready for a war with Iran next," he continued. And so I don't think you really want people who are eager for war to be running the State Department. You want a diplomat.”
Paul changed his mind in April, after speaking with Trump and Pompeo.
"I love Rand. But you probably shouldn’t count his vote until it’s cast," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who serves with Paul on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, told Politico. "He lets people make arguments right up until the last minute."
"He’s not for the most part a guy who’s going to change his mind once he makes it on certain core issues. But there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind based on new information," added Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who also serves on the foreign relations committee. "What’s the point of meeting people or learning new things if you’re not prepared to use what you learn?"
"He’s typically not stuck to his guns. We spend a lot of time amused on the Democratic side by the so-called hold-outs … they always cave," Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,. added. "I wouldn’t be surprised" if Paul votes for Haspel.
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