MOVING FORWARD: Trump's CIA Pick Gets Key Senate Recommendation


CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel departs her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. Republican leaders in the Senate are hoping to confirm her this week, though the vote could slip into next week.

Republicans hold a 51-49 Senate majority, making for a 52-47 vote with McCain recovering from surgery.

The Virginia Democrat announced his support on Tuesday for President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he had expressed concern over Haspel's "unacceptable" lack of transparency during the confirmation process.

Haspel's nomination made it out of committee with a 10 to 5 vote, with two Democrats, Sens.

In announcing his support Tuesday, Warner, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said Haspel has been "professional and forthright" with the panel.

Rand Paul (Ky.)-are openly opposing Haspel. Still, McCain said her role "in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing".

"Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the president if ordered to do something illegal or immoral - like a return to torture", he said.

But Haspel wrote Monday that she has 'learned the hard lessons since 9/11'.

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Jones pointed to Haspel's role in the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" programs - now widely viewed as torture - as key to his opposition to her.

"In refusing to denounce torture, Haspel is effectively signaling she does not recognise the constraints of the law, which prohibits waterboarding and other forms of cruelty", Sarah Dougherty, senior fellow of the group, said in a statement. I wanted reassurance from her that she has a moral compass and will stand up to the President and not enable his worst impulses, including getting back in the business of enhanced interrogation. Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota came out IN support of her late Tuesday afternoon.

Haspel told the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 9 that if she was given the order again, she would not support it.

Haspel, an undercover officer for most of her 33-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, promised then that the program would not be restarted under her leadership, but did not go as far as saying it should not have been started.

During her confirmation hearing, Haspel also repeatedly refused to answer questions whether or not the reported torture was considered as "immoral".

Haspel had already picked up Democratic support and appears on a path to confirmation.

The CIA declassified a review that found "no fault with the performance" of Haspel in the destruction of the videotape evidence, which could help clear the air for senators who are troubled by her involvement in the matter.

Haspel's moment in the harsh glare of politics has generated a renewed public debate about the practical value of torture, which Trump touted as a certainty during his 2016 campaign.