Paul to oppose Trump's AG nominee

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE (Ky.) said on Monday that he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Gabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal MORE (D-W.Va.), have not announced how they will vote.

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