Rand Paul Switches To Vote For Pompeo After ‘Assurances’ From Trump

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Kentucky GOP Rand Paul will support CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to lead the State Department, clearing the way for confirmation, the senator announced Monday.

Paul decided to support Pompeo after he “received assurances” from President Donald Trump that Pompeo believes the Iraq war was a mistake and the U.S. should leave Afghanistan, the Kentucky Republican announced on Twitter shortly before a panel vote Monday.

“After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation the Director Pompeo agrees with [Trump],” Paul said.

Pompeo’s confirmation looked uncertain since his April 12 hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he now has the votes to clear a panel vote scheduled for Monday. Several Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — also said Monday they would support Pompeo in the floor confirmation vote later this week, all but guaranteeing he would become secretary of state.

Paul would oppose Pompeo’s leadership at State, he said for weeks. So did Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who said Monday he’d support the nominee. Trump tweeted his frustration that “obstructionists” would block Pompeo.

Trump expressed confidence in Paul’s support for Pompeo April 18 when he said Paul had “never let [him] down.”

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