Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Haspel Almost Withdrew Her Nomination This Weekend

Haspel Almost Withdrew Her Nomination This Weekend

But Trump, who has several times expressed his support of torture, including waterboarding, today tweeted defending Haspel as "the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror".

President Trump doubled down on his support for his CIA Director nominee, Gina Haspel, early Monday morning.

Haspel, who serves as the CIA's deputy director and has spent 33 years in the agency, most of it undercover, faces some opposition in Congress because of her connection to the interrogation program that was set up after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Asked if there was any chance she would withdraw, Haspel told reporters, "Looking forward to Wednesday", when she will be questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee. He even needled Democrats for missing an opportunity to confirm the first female Central Intelligence Agency director in history.

"And I believe she should double down and say, 'I'm proud of what I accomplished, whether it was black sites, enhanced interrogation, and I dare anyone to sit in my shoes and accomplish as much as I've done, '" Kilmeade said.

The White House has been concerned about Haspel's past involvement with the CIA's now-defunct but controversial interrogation program after 9/11.

This is when she offered to withdraw, the officials said.

"My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, " Gina Haspel, has come under fire as she was too tough.


Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon said at the Cipher Brief's annual Threat Conference in Georgia in April that Haspel was one of her "dearest friends and favorite colleagues", noting that Haspel "is so solid, so true, and so not breathless that she will be an wonderful leader of CIA".

"Given that we are only two days from the date of your confirmation hearing on May 9, 2018, this lack of transparency for the American people about someone nominated for a cabinet-level position is unacceptable", Warner wrote.

The post became vacant after Mike Pompeo was appointed secretary of state last month.

On Wednesday, a top administration official told Newsmax that this week would be pivotal for current CIA Deputy Director Haspel.

"Ms. Haspel also appears to have strongly advocated for and played a key role in carrying out an order to destroy 92 videotapes of individuals in USA custody being subjected to torture", the former leaders said in their letter.

She has received robust backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security officials.

These are very risky times, so choices are restricted. After initially signaling he would support whatever decision was taken, Trump chose to push for Haspel to remain the nominee, according to the newspaper.

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