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Is Trump Really Considering an Infamous Neocon for State Department Post?

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Rand Paul is already promising to block infamous neocon Elliott Abrams from being confirmed as the second-highest position in the State Department, ahead of the latter’s meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton - Sputnik International
Trump Must Avoid Picking Neocon John Bolton as US Secretary of State - Rand Paul
Should Paul refuse to vote for Abrams, it would be nearly impossible for Abrams to pass through the 21-member Foreign Affairs Committee, of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, unless a Democrat swings in favor of him.

Abrams, a staunch advocate of interventionist policies, was a big voice in the #NeverTrump movement throughout the election season, opposing Trump’s promise to end the US era of nation building.

“Senator Paul wants to make sure the State Department agrees with President Trump on important matters, like that Iraq was a mistake, and regime change is a policy that has failed,” a senior aide to Paul told Sputnik News. “We need a foreign policy of America first, and spending less time in civil wars around the globe. Elliott Abrams has spent his career doing the opposite, and has spent the last year opposing Donald Trump and his foreign policy. For these reasons he is not the right choice.”

To date Trump has passed on appointing anyone who associated with the #NeverTrump campaign against him, infamously stringing Mitt Romney along for the position of US Secretary of State before ultimately choosing oil bigwig Rex Tillerson.

Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, smiles during his testimony before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U.S. secretary of state in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017 - Sputnik International
Trump Congratulates New US State Secretary Tillerson

“In a country of 300 million people, surely there are reasonable foreign policy experts who have not been convicted of deceiving Congress and actually share the President’s foreign policy views,” Paul wrote in an op-ed for Rare, ahead of the meeting.

While serving under President Ronald Reagan as the assistant secretary of state for Inter-American Affairs, Abrams was convicted for withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra hearings. Abrams was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush, and went on to serve as the Middle East director on President George W. Bush’s National Security Council staff.

“You can’t just brush off being convicted of lying to the Senate when asking for another confirmable job,” a senior aide to Paul told We Are Change, late Monday evening. “And you can’t just dismiss that you have blasted the foreign policy and general qualifications of the President. There are lessons from our recent foreign policy and President Trump has learned many of them. He deserves high level foreign policy staff who have learned them too.”

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