Appearing on CNN Sunday morning with host Jake Tapper, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) declared all-out war on President Donald Trump’s proposed new nominees to head up the State Department and the CIA, saying he would filibuster them on the floor of the Senate.
Speaking with the State of the Union host, Paul attacked Mike Pompeo, who Trump wants to move from the CIA over to replace fired Rex Tillerson at the State Department, before forcefully making the case against Gina Haspel heading up the CIA due to her involvement in torture following 9/11.
“Let’s get to the new nominations by the president for CIA director and secretary of state,” host Tapper began. “You said you’re going to do everything you can to block the nominations for Mike Pompeo for State and Gina Haspel for CIA. What are your objections and what do you mean when you say, you’ll do everything in your power to block them?”
“One of the things I like about Trump is he continues to say the Iraq war was a mistake. But when you say it’s a mistake, you’re saying that regime change in the Middle East leads often to unintended consequences,” Paul said. “Yet he keeps appointing people around him that love the Iraq war so much, that they’re ready for a war with Iran next.”
“So I don’t think you really want people who are eager for war to be running the State Department,” he continued. “You want a diplomat. I frankly think that Pompeo’s positions are too much of an advocate for regime change, really everywhere: North Korea, Iran, Russia, you name it. And I think really, we need to see the world as it is.”
“With regard to Haspel, I think that, you know, what America stands for is not torture, you know?” Rand elaborated. “Torture is the hallmark of totalitarianism. We should be that hope for the rest of the world for people who want to resist totalitarianism, they want to be free from torture, they don’t want to be free to torture. So I think that it’s inappropriate to put someone at the head of the CIA that could have so much power, power to assassinate, power to spy, power to collect all the data on everyone in the world, and I don’t think the person running that agency should be someone who ran a secret prison in Thailand.”
“Will you filibuster these nominations on the Senate floor?” Tapper asked.
“I’ll do whatever it takes, and that includes filibuster,” Paul shot back. “I will try to make a point to the American people and maybe the American people will rise up and say, ‘You know, we stand in solidarity with those who seek freedom from torture, not the freedom to a people, to have someone run our spy agency that has all of this enormous power, who is intimately involved with torture and from everything we’re reading.'”
Watch the video below via CNN: