Paul to oppose Trump's AG nominee

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need exit strategy with Iran | McConnell open to vote on Iran war authorization | Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales MORE (Ky.) said on Monday that he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE's attorney general nominee, becoming the first Republican to come out as a "no" vote on William Barr.

Paul told Politico that he had concerns about Barr's record on privacy, calling him a "chief advocate for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens."

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A spokesman for Paul didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The libertarian-leaning GOP senator had previously raised concerns about Barr, who also served as attorney general to President George H.W. Bush. 

His opposition comes as the full Senate could take up Barr's nomination as soon as this week following his approval by the Judiciary Committee last Thursday on a party-line vote.

Paul's "no" vote isn't enough to sink Barr on its own. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority, meaning that if Democrats could keep their whole caucus united they would still need to flip four Republican senators to stymie the confirmation. 

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) became the first Democrat to say last week that he would support Barr. 

Jones's and Paul's defections mean Democrats still need to flip four Republicans to stop the nomination. Other potential swing votes, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: New EPA rule could expand officials weighing in on FOIA requests | Trump plan to strip conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback | Agriculture chief downplays climate concerns Trump plan to strip public land conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback Republicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor MORE (D-W.Va.), have not announced how they will vote.

But Manchin told reporters earlier Monday that he viewed Barr "very favorably."