What Does Donald Trump Have Over Sen. Rand Paul?

CIA Director Mike Pompeo smiles as he walks to a meeting with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on April 18, 2018. President Donald Trump has nominated Pompeo to become the next secretary of state.
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

Donald Trump wants his CIA director buddy Mike Pompeo to be the new secretary of state for the United States. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was all set to vote against Pompeo’s nomination, but in a sudden reversal late Monday, he announced that he would support the president’s nomination of Pompeo. What gives?

In a series of tweets sent out late Monday afternoon, Paul said that he had met with and spoken to both Trump and Pompeo and had received reassurances that both men agree that the war in Iraq was a mistake and that the U.S. must end its involvement with Afghanistan.


In light of those assurances, Paul said, he would now be supporting Pompeo’s nomination to be the next secretary of state.

“After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation the Director Pompeo agrees with @realDonaldTrump,” Paul wrote.

“President Trump believes that Iraq was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the region, and that we must end our involvement with Afghanistan,” he continued.


“Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State,” Paul said.

Had Paul not changed his vote, Pompeo would have faced a full floor vote in the Senate. Unhappy with that prospective outcome, Trump tweeted early Monday morning: “Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans!”


But according to CNN, the GOP was already confident with their chances going into a full floor vote. Three Democratic senators also said that they would support Pompeo’s nomination, including Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Heitkamp is up for re-election this year. She has mostly voted in favor of Trump’s nominations, save for a select few. You may remember her as the North Dakota senator who wanted the #NoDAPL protesters to go away so that the Dakota Access Pipeline could get built.


Why is she siding with Trump?

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) tweeted Monday morning that he would vote to support Pompeo as well.


Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) released a statement late Monday saying that he, too, would be voting in support of Pompeo.

Since we know this administration is a corrupt crime organization that is likely guilty of several Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act violations, what does Trump have over these three that would make them run to give his nominee the votes he needs?


I can guess that Donnelly may have received a bit of pressure from the vice president, but what about Manchin and Heitkamp? What promises have been made? What scandals are being suppressed?

What does Teflon Don have that is making all of these politicians—Republicans and Democrats alike at this point—fall in line with his shenanigans?


There was a point when we could point our fingers directly at Republicans and blame them for these messes, but now we have Democrats jumping on board the crazy train.

And again, Rand Paul (the sole Republican in this equation) was squarely in the “no” column for this guy, but all of a sudden he had a change of heart.


I need to know why.

I’m taking bets, rumor, conjecture and speculation in the comments.

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About the author

Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.