John McCain opposes Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel

President Donald Trump touted Haspel's nomination on Twitter

McCain said that he believes Haspel "is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense". Haspel conceded that as acting director of the agency, she was in charge of deciding what remained secret about her past. At the same time, she insisted, "We followed the law then, and we follow the law now".

"It is not my way to trumpet the fact I am a woman for the top job in the Central Intelligence Agency, but I would be remiss in not remarking on it, not least because of the outpouring of support from young women in the Central Intelligence Agency and across the [intelligence community], because they consider it a good sign for their own prospects", Haspel said in a moment that was remarkable for its candor.

Senators quickly turned to her role in the agency when the Bush administration, in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, authorized waterboarding and other interrogation tactics widely believed to be torture. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., whether she would support the same order today, she said she would not, noting that she had learned from experience that additional stakeholders - such as the lawmakers and government officials raising questions about the interrogations only days before - should have been involved in the decision to destroy the tapes. He said Wednesday that Haspel's refusal to regard the so-called torture program as immoral, disqualifies her. For them, Haspel's history as a torturer was merely part of winning her spurs within an agency built upon violence, murder and criminality. She became deputy director of the entire agency a year ago and is now its acting director.

Arizona Sen. John McCain said in a statement he opposed her nomination due to her "disturbing" role in overseeing the use of torture at a black site in Thailand.

Obama installed as director of the CIA John Brennan, who as Haspel's superior at the agency played a major role in the program of illegal abductions, extraordinary rendition and torture.

She faces what will likely be a close confirmation vote in the full Senate.




US President Donald Trump's nomination of Haspel for the role has been criticized by both Republican and Democratic senators.

It didn't work, she told a congressional committee Wednesday.

President Trump's pick to lead the CIA says she will not resume the enhanced interrogation program; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge shows us tonight from Capitol Hill.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who after the hearing became the first Democrat to announce his support for the nomination, went so far as to tell Haspel that when speaking to constituents, "I brag about what you people do in the Clandestine Services". After the hearing, Collins's office released a statement saying the senator would also vote for confirmation. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. "I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination", he wrote. He called Haspel the most qualified person - man or woman - to ever be nominated for the job. Now battling brain cancer in his home state of Arizona, McCain has been an influential voice among his colleagues on matters of security, intelligence, and interrogation techniques.

Haspel refused to offer any such promises.

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