The temperature reached near 70 degrees in Washington, D.C., on Monday, so Sen. Rand Paul broke out his flip-flops.
The Kentucky Republican had long maintained his opposition to Mike Pompeo, President Trump's nominee for secretary of state, stating repeatedly that he intended to vote against Pompeo because of his hawkish instincts. During Pompeo's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month, Paul pressed Pompeo over whether Trump's use of military force in Syria without congressional approval was constitutionally sound, and said that Pompeo's view of the war in Afghanistan is at odds with Trump's desire to withdraw from the country.
But on Monday, Paul said that after speaking to Trump and Pompeo, he had "received assurances" that Pompeo does not in fact want to prolong America's presence in Afghanistan. Trump "believes that Iraq was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the region, and that we must end our involvement with Afghanistan," Paul wrote on Twitter, and on Monday he "received confirmation that [Pompeo] agrees" with Trump.
For that reason, Paul announced that he would vote to confirm Pompeo after all. With Paul's support, plus the backing of three moderate Senate Democrats, Pompeo seems poised for confirmation by the full Senate later this week. Kimberly Alters