STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sen. Rand Paul: Pompeo has reassured me

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explains why he will support the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state, a last minute reversal that avoids a historic rebuke of the President's pick to be the country's top diplomat.

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 1:42 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 1:44 PM

Donald Trump won.

That's the only possible analysis of the past 24 hours when it comes to the confirmation of Mike Pompeo for secretary of state.

On Monday morning, the storyline went like this: Pompeo, the current CIA director, was very likely to be unfavorably reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, joining a united front of Democrats to vote against him. In the full Senate, just one Democrat -- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp -- had said she would vote for Pompeo, raising questions of whether he could weather another GOP defection.

By Monday night, Paul had flip-flopped to vote for Pompeo in committee and two more Democrats -- Indiana's Joe Donnelly and West Virginia's Joe Manchin -- had pledged to back his nomination on the Senate floor, making it a virtual certainty that the one-time Kansas congressman would be the next top US diplomat.

That's quite a turnaround! And, it's a rare recent tale of success for Trump when it comes to his Cabinet, which, from EPA's Scott Pruitt to Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson, has been mired in controversy after controversy.

Trump deserves considerable credit for making this all happen.

First, after months of rumors, he jettisoned Rex Tillerson as secretary of state last month. No matter whose side you take in that debate, it was clear to everyone involved that the relationship between the two men has disintegrated badly. Because of that very public split, Tillerson wasn't seen as having Trump's confidence -- making it very, very difficult for Tillerson to do his job.

Then Trump chose Pompeo, a close ally who had already been confirmed by the Senate as CIA director last year.

And, rather than simply attack Paul when the Kentucky Republican voiced his concerns about the hawkishness of Pompeo on national security and foreign policy matters, Trump praised Paul publicly and worked to convince him privately.

"I will say this about Rand Paul: He's never let me down," Trump said last week at Mar-a-Lago. "Rand Paul is a very special guy as far as I'm concerned. He's never let me down."

Trump also pushed Paul to meet with Pompeo to talk through his concerns. While that meeting didn't seem to change things, Trump kept at it with Paul -- understanding, rightly, that an unfavorable report out of the Foreign Relations committee could endanger Pompeo's chances at confirmation by the full Senate.

And, then, on the verge of what looked like a mini-disaster in committee, Paul flipped.

"I just finished speaking to @realDonaldTrump, after speaking to him several times today," he tweeted. "I also met with and spoke to Director Pompeo. 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."

With that -- and the announcements earlier Tuesday by Manchin and Donnelly -- the storyline pivoted. It went from "Potential disaster looms for Pompeo, Trump" to "Pompeo confirmation appears to be on a glide path."

By the end of the week, Pompeo will almost certainly be confirmed as secretary of state. Based on how this week began, that's a massive win for Trump. And a badly needed one.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295357

Reported Deaths: 5305
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion40796844
Lake25864448
Allen17025289
Elkhart16389209
St. Joseph16125217
Hamilton12225163
Vanderburgh9218112
Tippecanoe807627
Porter770176
Johnson5971161
Hendricks5719154
Vigo563274
Monroe519846
Clark486774
Delaware4721103
Madison4651119
Kosciusko437339
LaPorte436792
Howard321375
Warrick309072
Floyd301177
Bartholomew296262
Wayne292261
Cass291231
Marshall283642
Grant254147
Noble244246
Hancock238949
Henry234136
Boone231754
Dubois229230
Dearborn204629
Jackson200033
Morgan196043
Gibson171622
Knox170715
Clinton170420
Shelby170453
Lawrence169246
DeKalb168428
Adams160019
Miami150414
Daviess149143
Wabash148118
Fayette141233
Steuben139713
LaGrange135127
Jasper134911
Harrison134624
Montgomery127926
Whitley127410
Ripley121414
Decatur119842
Posey116613
Putnam115626
Wells115427
Huntington115210
White115221
Randolph114619
Clay111821
Jefferson110314
Scott97918
Greene97553
Jay93012
Starke87021
Sullivan85515
Perry80521
Spencer7957
Jennings79114
Fulton78717
Fountain7257
Washington6966
Carroll65313
Orange64828
Franklin63525
Owen5676
Vermillion5662
Newton53412
Parke5296
Tipton52826
Blackford50011
Rush5006
Pike49618
Pulaski36410
Martin3425
Brown3153
Benton3101
Crawford2711
Union2551
Switzerland2453
Warren2272
Ohio2227
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 351419

Reported Deaths: 5996
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin48389665
Cuyahoga34096734
Hamilton28674371
Montgomery19082225
Butler14138144
Lucas13446406
Summit12431309
Stark8122197
Warren770375
Mahoning6772299
Lake625466
Lorain590297
Clermont541946
Delaware521435
Licking506275
Fairfield505163
Trumbull4969144
Greene489662
Clark486664
Marion451451
Allen446384
Wood4243107
Medina413354
Miami398565
Pickaway387948
Columbiana328496
Portage323171
Wayne303593
Tuscarawas299557
Richland293929
Mercer281237
Ross234559
Hancock225336
Muskingum223610
Auglaize218925
Putnam218649
Darke208058
Erie205565
Ashtabula204753
Geauga189451
Scioto186713
Lawrence181336
Athens17954
Union17928
Shelby176715
Seneca165018
Belmont151529
Madison151018
Sandusky144427
Preble143821
Huron139218
Holmes137039
Defiance131121
Knox118818
Logan118313
Fulton117225
Ottawa114730
Crawford114216
Washington112427
Clinton100314
Williams9938
Jefferson9894
Ashland98322
Highland96317
Henry94422
Brown9324
Champaign8935
Jackson87312
Fayette86617
Van Wert8596
Morrow8312
Hardin82518
Guernsey79213
Coshocton78813
Perry73312
Pike7081
Adams70611
Wyandot68916
Gallia68113
Paulding61710
Hocking58511
Noble56121
Carroll41610
Meigs36312
Monroe29921
Morgan2342
Vinton2075
Harrison1823
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 32°
Angola
28° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Decatur
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Van Wert
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Snow/Rain Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events