Why Rand Paul Opposes Trump's Pick for CIA Director

Mike Pompeo might be the only guy Trump trusts

Modal Trigger Mike Pompeo laughs during the FDD National Security Summit in Washington DC. REUTERS Yuri Gripas

President Donald Trump's sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could sound the death knell for the Iran nuclear deal and further strain USA ties with key European allies. Tillerson's dismissal this week may hasten its demise.

Lawyers for the psychologists wanted to interview Haspel and another Central Intelligence Agency official involved in the program, but government lawyers told the federal judge in the case that the officials and documents were protected under the state secrets privilege and making them public would threaten national security.

While such a scenario is unlikely, the fact it is being floated as an option may give US officials more leverage in negotiations with European signatories to salvage the accord by toughening it. If the US begins threatening fines and other punishments for sanctions violations, countries around the world are likely to curtail commerce with Iran. In April 2009 Pyongyang walked away from the talks and the following month it detonated a nuclear device underground.

The nuclear deal was agreed by the USA administration of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, as well as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation.

State Department officials told AFP that Tillerson's chief of strategy Brian Hook will be in Berlin on Thursday to meet British, French and German officials about efforts to reform the deal. Paul said Wednesday that he had supported Trump because he thought he would break with the tradition of past Republican presidents and correct "the foreign policy mistakes of the last two administrations". For his part, Aragchi sees the writing on the wall. Now, Pompeo will have to deal with the head-strong chief executive who thinks he doesn't need experts to do his job. "President Trump isn't doing this for theater", Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday. Tillerson, the White House said, asked that Trump wait until he returned to the USA, and he shortened his trip to Africa - where much of his mission revolved around softening the impact of Trump's recent reported criticisms.

This "fix" would expand the agreement to include restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program and end the "sunset clauses" that allow Tehran to resume some enrichment within 10 years. Mr Tillerson's diplomacy was often publicly and humiliatingly undercut by Mr Trump's agenda.

Tillerson spent much of his first year in office in the planning phases of the redesign.

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NPR published a report on March 14 headlined "Tillerson Vs. Pompeo: What Trump's Cabinet Shakeup Might Mean For Policy" and examined several areas where Pompeo is more in alignment with Trump's views than Tillerson was.

If McMaster is among the next to go, president Trump is reportedly eyeing former U.S. Ambassador to the U-N John Bolton to replace him. Between now and then, I will address a few administrative matters related to my departure and work towards a smooth and orderly transition for Secretary of State-Designate Mike Pompeo.

As a congressman, Pompeo vociferously denounced the accord when it was struck. In his January 2018 State of the Union address, he was more direct, calling on lawmakers to "address the fundamental flaws in the bad Iran nuclear deal".

It's unclear whether Pompeo will ultimately carry on Tillerson's plans. So I want to hope that somebody who's got the president's ear, somebody who understands that his diplomats are his greatest strengths, will put USA diplomacy back in the center and ensure that we have more options than simply a military option in all these hard parts of the world.

Tillerson backs the Iran nuclear pact, the 2015 deal that eased crushing economic sanctions in exchange for allowing the nation to pursue its nuclear energy ambitions. A West Point graduate, Pompeo will be yet another former military officer to hold a top position in the Trump administration. USA sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh "waivers" to suspend them on May 12.

On Israel, Pompeo has been an outspoken supporter of the policies of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including the ongoing occupation and colonization of the Palestinian West Bank.

Now, however, if confirmed as the country's top diplomat, Pompeo would have a leading role in worldwide treaties and accords related to climate change, among other topics.

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