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White House aide: Enough Dems will support Haspel, Pompeo nominations

Greg Nash

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said Sunday that he believes there will be enough Democratic support to confirm President Trump’s nominees for secretary of State and CIA director. 

Short said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that he believes Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel are “incredibly qualified candidates.” 

Both nominees have drawn criticism, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) saying he will do “whatever it takes” to block the nominations.

{mosads}“I think it’s unfortunate where Rand Paul’s position is before hearings begin,” Short said Sunday.

“We think there are enough Democrats that will help support our candidates,” he added.

Trump last week fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and announced he’d seek to replace him with Pompeo, who is the current CIA director. He then said he would nominate Haspel, currently the CIA deputy director, to replace Pompeo.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also expressed concerns over Haspel’s nomination. The GOP holds a tenuous 51-seat majority with McCain, who is away from Washington battling cancer.

Without McCain present, and with a Paul defection, Republicans would need Democrats to support both nominees.

Fourteen Democrats supported Pompeo to lead the CIA in last year’s vote. However, several have indicated they are reconsidering their votes, or remaining on the fence, until Pompeo’s hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next month.

In Haspel’s case, no Democrats have formally said they will oppose her nomination, but several have raised concerns about her involvement in the enhanced interrogation program during the George W. Bush administration.

Tags Donald Trump Gina Haspel John McCain Marc Short Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Rand Paul Rand Paul Rex Tillerson

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