Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was one of the votes that would keep President Trump's secretary of state nomination from being confirmed - and he changed his mind Monday afternoon.
Here's why he changed his mind
Paul tweeted Monday that he met with Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state nominee, and with President Trump, and they assured him of several foreign policy tenets that assuaged his fears about the nomination.
"I just finished speaking to [President Trump], after speaking to him several times today. I also met with and spoke to Director Pompeo," he said from his social media account Monday.
"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 [Trump]," he explained.
"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 added. "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."
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.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 23, 2018
"They want an Iran War next"
In March, Paul had sent out a much different statement via Twitter that explained why he could not support Pompeo, who he called a "neocon" and accused of wanting to spark a war with Iran.
"What I liked about candidate Trump was his strong condemnation of the Iraq War," Paul tweeted. "I believe President Trump has done a great job, and I continue to support him, but I cannot endorse his nomination of people who loved the Iraq War so much that they want an Iran War next."
"Director Pompeo has not learned the lessons of regime change and wants regime change in Iran," he added. "I will continue to support President [Trump], but I can’t support people who never understood America First and want to manipulate the President into the sphere of the neocons who never met a war they didn’t want to star in."
"President Trump sought to break with the foreign policy mistakes of the last two administrations," he explained. "Yet now he picks for Secretary of State and CIA Director people who embody them, defend them, and, I’m afraid, will repeat them. I will not support their nominations."
President Trump sought to break with the foreign policy mistakes of the last two administrations. Yet now he picks for Secretary of State and CIA Director people who embody them, defend them, and, I’m afraid, will repeat them. I will not support their nominations.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 14, 2018
Some, like conservative columnist John Podhoretz, criticized the senator's change of heart, saying it was disingenuous. "Even when he does the right thing it’s for the wrong reason—and disingenuous too," he opined on social media.