Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Tuesday questioned how Senate Republicans could, "with a straight face," potentially confirm former CIA Director David Petraeus as secretary of state — a position he is reportedly under consideration for in President-elect Donald Trump's emerging Cabinet.
Petraeus pleaded guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information. Trump and fellow Republicans lambasted Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for doing what he claimed was worse while she was secretary of state.
"I think there's going to be the problem that everything we complained about with Hillary Clinton revealing emails that were classified or not treating them appropriately are the same issues for Petraeus," Paul told reporters Tuesday. "So I don't know how we can, with a straight face, say, 'Oh, we're going to appoint someone to a cabinet position who actually plead guilty to a similar offense.'"
See Rand Paul with his famous father:
Politicians Ron Paul and son Rand Paul
Politicians Ron Paul and son Rand Paul
DAVENPORT, IA - JANUARY 02: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (L) introduces his father, Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) (R), at a campaign event during his 'Whistle-stop' tour with at the Steeple Gate inn in January 2, 2012 in Davenport, Iowa. A poll published Saturday by the state's largest newspaper, The Des Moines Register, put Paul in second place of a large field of GOP candidates going into Tuesday's 'first in the nation' Iowa Caucuses. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 22: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (L) talks to his father Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (R) during a news conference June 22, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A number of Republican congressional members joined The Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge Coalition at the news conference 'to oppose any debt ceiling increase unless a 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan is passed.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - AUGUST 10: U.S. Senator Rand Paul (L) (R-KY) listens to his father Texas Congressman and Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul speak at a campaign stop August 10, 2011 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Most of the candidates hoping to receive the Republican presidential nomination are crisscrossing Iowa this week hoping to gain support in front of the Republican party debate and the Iowa Straw Poll. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Paul previously expressed concerns about confirming both former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former UN Ambassador John Bolton to lead the State Department, publicly airing his grievances regarding both.
On Monday, Trump tweeted shortly after meeting with Petraeus that he "was very impressed!"
"Just met with General Petraeus — was very impressed!"
Learn more about David Petraeus:
Former CIA Director David Petraeus through the years
Former CIA Director David Petraeus through the years
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) under President Barack Obama, Gen. David Petraeus interviewed for the documentary, 'The Spymasters,' about CIA Directors for CBS/Showtime. With producers Chris Whipple, Gedeon and Jules Naudet, New York, New York, July 22, 2015.
(Photo David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
Director, President and CEO of The Woodrow Wilson Center Hon. Jane Harman and Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency Gen. (Ret.) David H. Petraeus speak at the 2016 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2016 in New York City.
(Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and General David Petraeus attend the 2nd Annual Speyer Legacy School Access To Opportunity Initiative Benefit at Carnegie Hall on April 6, 2016 in New York City.
(Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Former CIA director David Petraeus speaks after leaving the Federal Courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 23, 2015. Petraeus was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty to mishandling classified information.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency General David Petraeus attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 12, 2012. Petraeus resigned as CIA director on November 9, 2012 he publicly admitted to having engaged in an extramarital affair. Picture taken July 12, 2012.
In this handout image provided by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan; CIA Director Gen. Davis Petraeus shakes hands with biographer Paula Broadwell, co-author of 'All In: The Education of General David Petraeus' on July 13, 2011. CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus resigned from his post on November 9, 2012, citing an extra-marital affair with Paula Broadwell. The FBI began an investigation after it was tipped off by Jill Kelley, a long-time friend of the Petraeus family, who received threatening emails from Broadwell.
(Photo by ISAF via Getty Images)
Jill Kelley, General David Petraeus, Holly Petraeus, Jill Kelley and Scott Kelley (l.- r.) attending event in which Gen. Petraeus was presented with community service award at the home of Jill and Scott Kelley during summer of 2011.
(New York Daily News Exclusive via Getty Images)
US General David Petraeus (2nd L) attends a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Defence Minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg and Afghan President Hamid Karsai (not in picture) during an unannounced visit to the German Army's base in the Afghan city of Masar-i-Sharif on December 18, 2010.
(STEFFEN KUGLER/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama walks off Air Force One upon landing for an unscheduled visit to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan December 3, 2010, and is greeted by US commander in Afghanistan General David Petraeus and US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry (behind).
(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S Army General David Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 8, 2008. Petraeus said progress in Iraq is too "fragile and reversible'' to allow for U.S. troop levels to fall below about 140,000 earlier than September.
(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
US Army General David Petraeus, incoming commander of US Central Command and former commanding general of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, interacts with other guest riders after returning to the White House following a bicycle ride with US President George W. Bush, in Washington, October 11, 2008.
U.S. Army General David Petraeus throws out the first pitch prior to Game 2 of Major League Baseball's World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 23, 2008.
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) listens as U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus provides a situation update on Iraq to a congressional delegation in Baghdad, July 21, 2008. Obama and other members of the delegation met with Iraqi leaders and U.S. military commanders in a visit overshadowed by the question of when U.S. troops should go home.
(REUTERS/Lorie Jewell/Multi-National Forces Iraq Public Affairs/Handout)
U.S. President George W. Bush speaks to reporters following a meeting on the war in Iraq at the White House in Washington October 5, 2005. Standing with Bush are the former commander of the multi-national security and transition command U.S. Army Major General David H. Petraeus (L) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
General David Petraeus, the three-star U.S. General charged with overseeing the transition of power from the Coalition military authorities to the Iraqis poses June 21, 2004 in Najaf, Iraq.
(Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
U.S. Lt. General David Petraeus, commander of the 101st. Airborne Division shakes hands with an Iraqi Army soldier celebrating his graduation in Kirkush Military Training base, July 8, 2004. Columns of 720 soldiers of the newly U.S-trained Iraqi Army celebrated their graduation on Thursday as part of U.S initial plan of creating a new Iraqi army division numbering 12,000 troops within a year to replace 400,000-strong army dispended by the U.S led coalition authority after the fall of Baghdad on April 2003.
(Zohra Bensemra / Reuters)
Paul Bremer (L), the the U.S. administrator for Iraq listens to US Commander Maj. Gen. David Petraeus upon his arrival at Mosul airport in northern Iraq before a short helicopter tour of the city 18 May 2003. The U.S. administrator for Iraq, Paul Bremer, said on Sunday he was pushing ahead with setting up an Iraqi interim authority, denying media reports that Washington was suspending the transition process.
(REUTERS/Roberto Schmidt/POOL JV)
In this handout photo from the U.S. Army, Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), speaks during the 716th Military Police Battalion during a assumption of command ceremony November 2, 2003 in Babylon, Iraq. Lt. Col. Ashton L. Hayes took command of the battalion after former commander Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando was killed Oct. 16 in Karbala, Iraq.
(Photo by Chris Jones/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
Major General David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne division meets with local Kurd and Arab leaders July 26, 2003 in the ethnically mixed town of Domiz, in northern Iraq. Petraeus was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by the leaders and participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new hospital clinic built with the aid of the U.S. Army there.
(Photo by Scott Nelson/Getty Images)
David H. Petraeus got a diploma from the U.S. Military Academy and the boss's daughter as well. The cadet captain and assistant brigade adjutant, who comes from Cornwall-On-The-Hudson, New York, is to marry Holly Knowlton, daughter of West Point Superintendent Lt. General William Knowlton.