Tom Cotton, noted warhawk, could be leading the CIA

Turns out Trump isn't really independent from neocons

Published October 16, 2017 1:05PM (EDT)

Tom Cotton (AP/Andrew Harnik))
Tom Cotton (AP/Andrew Harnik))

Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton is reportedly under consideration to become the next director of the CIA amid reports that that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may resign or be forced out of his position.

That's at least if you believe the word of the hawkish conservative radio commentator and MSNBC host Hugh Hewitt, who has been trying to promote his fellow militarist for the position. Last month, he floated a rumor on NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Trump was considering appointing CIA Director Mike Pompeo to secretary of state.

The idea has been gathering steam since then according to Axios editor Mike Allen, who reported on Monday based on his own sources that Cotton, 40, is indeed under consideration.

Hewitt, who is one of several conservative MSNBC hires who have been irritating the channel's loyal progressive viewership, also appeared in Allen's story claiming that both Cotton and Pompeo "like and listen to the president."

Cotton is probably the most militaristic U.S. elected official. He was the sole senator to vote against the deal that the former Obama administration worked out with Iran and several American allies to partially lift internationally imposed sanctions on the Shiite nation.

The Arkansas senator's approach to Trump has been quite different from other right-wing foreign policy hawks who have long believed that the New York real estate tycoon does not agree with their overall interest in military intervention in other countries' affairs.

While Trump did speak against the disastrous Iraq invasion advocated by neoconservatives and their allies, even during his campaign, one needed to only look at his attitudes toward North Korea and Iran to see that Trump was never serious about trying to re-orient Republican foreign policy toward the realism it once embraced under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

By Matthew Sheffield

Matthew Sheffield is a national correspondent for The Young Turks. He is also the host of the podcast "Theory of Change." You can follow him on Twitter.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Hugh Hewitt Mike Pompeo Msnbc Rex Tillerson Tom Cotton