Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will do "whatever it takes" — including filibuster — to block President Donald Trump's nominations of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to the top post of the agency.
Sen. Paul lashed out at the picks on CNN's "State of the Union" and CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
"You really want a diplomat to be in charge of the State Department, not someone who is advocating for war," he told "Face the Nation" about Pompeo's nomination as the nation's top diplomat.
"I frankly think that Pompeo's positions are too much of an advocate for regime change, really everywhere," he added. "I don't think our policy ought to be for regime change, so I think Pompeo really isn't a good fit to be a diplomat."
But he was especially adamant about rebuking Haspel to lead the CIA.
"She oversaw an illegal black ops operation in Thailand that included torture," he told "Face The Nation." "I don't think torture is what America is about."
In a separate interview on "State of the Union," Paul declared "I'll do whatever it takes, and that includes filibuster."
"I don't have the power to stop her nomination," he said of Haspel. "There's enough votes she'll eventually win. Few things in life . . . [are] worth standing up saying 'enough is enough.'
"We are not a people that should be so fearful or vengeful that we think that torture is somehow acceptable," he added. "On what level could torture ever be acceptable? We should make a stand on this. She should never lead the CIA."
According to The Hill, Paul's defection could force Republicans to rely on Vice President Pence, or Democrats, to get Pompeo through the full Senate.
Assuming every Republican senator but Paul supports Pompeo, as they did for his current CIA post, and every Democrat opposes, the Senate would be split 50-50, The Hill reported.
In Haspel's case, no Democrats have formally said they will oppose Haspel, but several have raised concerns about her involvement in the interrogation program, The Hill noted.
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