Senator Rand Paul reversed course and voted for the notoriously hawkish Mike Pompeo to become our next Secretary of State on Monday, after assurances that President Donald Trump intends to end the wars in Syria and Afghanistan as well as reform the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Sources close to the negotiations between Paul, President Trump and Pompeo have provided the Gateway Pundit with exclusive details of the deal to sway his vote.
Last week, Trump called Paul and assured him that he is the one who sets foreign policy — not his Secretary of State. The president explained that he still believes that regime changes, and Iraq, were mistakes.
The president informed Paul that he intends to be out of Syria and Afghanistan sooner, rather than later.
Since the call took place shortly after the Syria bombing, the senator and the president went back and forth about whether or not it was the right thing to do. Days before the bombing, Trump had vowed that he was going to be pulling troops out of the nation.
Trump assured Paul that it was a “one time thing to deter the use of chemical weapons and not an escalation or change of his declaration from the week before.” He was adamant that his vow to leave Syria stands.
On Thursday of last week, Paul and Pompeo met in the senator’s office in DC. The Secretary of State hopeful noted a number of issues that the two of them agree on, including foreign aid to Pakistan and Palestinians.
Pompeo also agreed with Paul that Libya was a terrible idea, and reminded the senator that he voted against it in the House.
“He said that regime change has had a negative impact on the region and should not be our goal,” a source close to the negotiation told the Gateway Pundit of the conversation.
Paul and Pompeo also discussed North Korea and their hope for a peaceful negotiation and denuclearization. He had been the one sent to negotiate with the hostile nation, and appears to have done well.
On Monday, prior to changing course and agreeing to change his vote, Paul spoke to Trump twice — as well as General John Kelly and Pompeo. Each assured the senator that the president remains committed to a different kind of foreign policy — one that recognizes that Iraq was a mistake, has no desire for regime change and will get the United States out of Syria and Afghanistan.
Still not ready to change his vote, Paul decided to ask for something he has been requesting for quite a while — a reexamination of the issue of American citizens being caught up in FISA.
In January, Paul had attempted to filibuster the reauthorization of Section 702 of FISA over concerns about the warrantless collection of US citizens’ private information.
During the FISA debate, the President had stated that he wanted reform, and publicly threatened not to sign it the morning of its passage, setting off a firestorm in the Intelligence Community. Sources close to Paul say the senator saw this as a chance to enlist the President on something important to him.
Since the senator and the president were already in agreement on foreign policy, and the Democrats were planning to bottle him up in committee, Paul decided to ask for help on the issue he is passionate about and change his vote.
“He asked for the president to help him fix the FISA issue through executive action,” the source explained.
The president has the power to order all agencies to require warrants without new legislation.
Senator Paul has always been in support of Trump, especially regarding his instincts on foreign policy. His biggest objection to Pompeo was wanting assurances that the president intended to hold to his campaign promises on policy. Convinced that he will, and that they will work together on FISA reform, Paul was certain that the negotiation was successful.
Pompeo was very narrowly approved by the Senate foreign relations committee on Monday evening, in a mostly party-line vote of 11 to 9.