WASHINGTON — Rand Paul promised to try to block John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director, either with a filibuster or by recruiting his friends on the Senate Intelligence Committee during an interview with WABC Radio's Aaron Klein that will air on Sunday night.
"I will do everything I can to stop him, and I told him I will filibuster it," Paul said. "Unfortunately I am not enough. You know, it takes 41. And we could not hold 41 together on the Hagel nomination. So my guess is I will not get 41."
Paul explained his strategy for blocking Brennan via the committee vote.
"My best chance, though, is that I have allies in the Committee," Paul said. "The Intelligence Committee is pretty powerful on these things. And the CIA realizes that, and the president has to deal with the intelligence committee. If the Intelligence Committee will continue to object and ask my question, Brennan will not come forward. They have the power to hold his nomination — and right now, see he was supposed to be approved by the committee last Thursday and they moved it to this Tuesday. So that means that I have a very good chance the White House will be forced to respond."
Paul is demanding answers to his questions about drone strikes within U.S. territory, and predicted that the White House would provide them on Monday.
"When John Brennan has been asked, he says that there are no geographical limitations to the use of drones strikes," Paul said. "And so the follow-up question is, obviously, does that mean even the U.S. border is not a geographical limitation?"
"We have laws in the United States that say the CIA is not to operate in the United States and we restrict our own military from operating in the United States … And so I am very, very concerned about this," Paul said. "I think I may get an answer. The rumor we are hearing back from the White House is on Monday we may get an answer. And the only answer that will satisfy me is, no, they wont break the law and that the drone strikes in the U.S. will break the law."
Paul voted for the confirmation of Chuck Hagel after voting to support a filibuster on him, and said last week that "the president gets to choose political appointees."
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.