Who he is: Cotton, 40, is a double Harvard (undergraduate and law); served in the Army’s 101st Airborne, with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (Bronze Star); then was a McKinsey & Co. consultant and served a term in the House.
Why it matters: MSNBC and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt — who talks frequently to Cotton on and off the air, and first floated the idea of Cotton for CIA — told me that Pompeo, Cotton, SecDef Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly would be “a quartet of serious intellectuals and warriors in the ‘big four’ jobs.” And you could add National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster as a fifth.
- Hewitt says both Cotton and Pompeo “like and listen to the president” and “accept his realism in foreign affairs.”
- A longtime friend of Cotton, asked if he’d take the CIA job, said: “This guy quit his fancy law firm to serve his country in the wake of 9/11. He does his duty when the country calls.”