Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), a rare isolationist Republican, was signaling that he would oppose Trump’s pick, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a hawkish former congressman who had backed the Iraq War.
But the more Trump and Paul spoke, including three calls on Monday, the more assured Paul became that the president was moving back toward the non-interventionist world view that Trump had championed on the campaign trail. The conversations left Paul with a particularly enticing notion: that Trump was prepared to end the war in Afghanistan.
“The president told me over and over again in general we’re getting the hell out of there,” Paul said in an interview Thursday in his Senate office. “I think the president’s instincts and inclination are to resolve the Afghan conflict.”