Paul to oppose Trump's AG nominee

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Rand Paul's exchange with Fauci was exactly what America needed MORE (Ky.) said on Monday that he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' 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) ManchinGeorge Floyd and the upcoming Texas Democratic Senate runoff Energy companies cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline Trump nominee faces Senate hurdles to securing public lands post MORE (D-W.Va.), have not announced how they will vote.

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