Senator Angus King, I-ME, joined me this morning:
HH: I am joined by Senator Angus King of Maine, independent of Maine, and lucky for us, he’s also a former governor, two term governor, good governor up in Maine. Let me reach back, Senator King, before we talk about other things, to your experience as a governor. What do you think Governor Abbott’s doing right now with a mad bomber running around Austin?
AK: Well, it’s a hell of a problem. I mean, it’s an all hands on deck situation. They’ve got some, obviously there’s, well, you never know whether this is one person or whether you’re having copycats. But the Governor, I’m sure, is working with the Texas Rangers, the State Police, the local police, the FBI. I mean, this is pretty scary stuff.
HH: Now you’re on Senate Intel, Senator King. Have you been briefed on this, yet?
AK: Not, yet. We have a meeting this afternoon, as a matter of fact, and I suspect that it will come up. We’ll get at least an up to date briefing on what we know at this point. But from press reports, I don’t think there are any clear answers on this.
HH: Now we will cover the story as it develops over the morning. Let’s turn to some of the stuff I wanted to cover with you. First of all, do you anticipate any difficulty in having CIA Director Pompeo confirmed as Secretary of State?
AK: I think it’s an open question, Hugh, because he, when he was going for CIA, the CIA Director and Secretary of State are entirely different jobs. And I remember talking to him offline when he was first nominated as CIA, and we started talking about policy. And he said you know, I’m not doing policy anymore. This is a technical job. This is information. I said you’re absolutely right. That’s the right attitude. But now, policy, it’s all about policy. And it’s about representing the country. And you heard Rand Paul is already expressed some pretty serious reservations about his attitude toward Iran, his attitude towards some of the problems around the world. So I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it’s a dunk by any means. And remember, if all the Democrats plus Rand Paul vote against him, and John McCain’s not there, he loses 50-49. So I think it’s going to depend a lot on his answer to the questions. I’m undecided myself. I like him personally. I think he’s an incredibly smart guy. But for example, I worry about the, he’ll encourage the President to tear up the Iran deal, which I think is a huge geopolitical mistake. There’s no upside to that decision. And that bothers me. So I’m going to, what I like to do, Hugh, is I go to hearings even when I’m not on the committee. And I’m planning to go to his confirmation hearings, sit out in the audience at the Foreign Relations Committee, and listen to his answers and make up my mind at that point.