Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will oppose President Donald Trump's picks of Mike Pompeo for secretary of state and Gina Haspel for CIA director, The Hill reports.
"My announcement today is that I will oppose both Pompeo's nomination and Haspel's nomination," Paul said on Wednesday. He added he will "do everything I can to block" them.
Trump is looking to replace ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Pompeo, who now heads the CIA. Haspel, who currently serves as CIA deputy director, would move up to replace Pompeo at the agency.
Paul was the only Republican to vote against Pompeo for CIA director last year, the Hill reported.
Paul said Pompeo does not believe "enhanced interrogation techniques" to be torture. And he noted Pompeo's support for the Iraq War.
"I'm perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next," he said. "I think it goes against most of the things President Trump campaigned on."
The Wall Street Journal pointed to Haspel's role on a team that oversaw the CIA's detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists.
Some experts and lawmakers have described the techniques used as torture, the newspaper reported.
Paul said he would not support "the head cheerleader for waterboarding." "There is a point at which if someone asks you to torture someone, you should say no," he said.
A majority vote is needed for both nominees to clear the Senate, where the GOP has a 51-49 edge, the newspaper said. Vice President Mike Pence would be called on to cast a tie-breaking vote.
However, the issue is further complicated by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is fighting brain cancer and remains at home in Arizona, the Journal reported.
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