Central Intelligence Agency director nominee Gina Haspel sought to withdraw

07 May, 2018, 07:49 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Trump's CIA pick lobbies Capitol Hill before confirmation hearing

A career veteran of the agency, Ms. Haspel told White House officials that she was anxious less about her own reputation than about the potential damage to the C.I.A. from a bruising confirmation battle. "When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why she is so admired and why she is and will be a great leader for this agency", CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said in a statement Sunday.

During the meeting, Haspel offered to withdraw if that would help the situation, two of the sources said. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would give Democrats leverage over her nomination ― if they stick together, that is.

The Washington Times noted that once the White House heard of Haspel's uncertainty, White House aides, including Marc Short and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, went to Virginia to meet with her.

An administration official told the Post that Haspel's nomination will continue as planned.

According to the Post, Short told Haspel she could still be confirmed despite the questions over her role in the interrogation program.

Years after, when the C.I.A. wished to call Ms. Haspel to run clandestine operations, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who afterward chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, obstructed the pro motion over Ms. Haspel's role in the interrogation plan and the devastation of those tapes.

With McCain's absence, Republicans have a 50-49 margin in the Senate.


The release of the disciplinary review may persuade some lawmakers who had been undecided to support Haspel, said congressional officials tracking the nomination process.

The White House is standing behind President Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel to run the Central Intelligence Agency, saying Sunday that "partisan critics" would not torpedo the president's pick.

Last month, Trump's pick for secretary of veterans affairs, the White House doctor Ronny Jackson, withdrew from consideration after a number of allegations arose concerning his conduct.

Haspel has come under criticism over her involvement in the CIA's used of "enhanced interrogation techniques" - which included waterboarding.

Sanders issued a tweet in support of Haspel and rebuking her detractors on Capitol Hill late Saturday afternoon.

She has received robust backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security officials, who praise her extensive intelligence career.

Anders, deputy director of the ACLU's legislative office in Washington, said that while the administration has shared tidbits about how Haspel likes country singer Johnny Cash and once met the Roman Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa, it has only declassified one document about her career.

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