Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Trump CIA nominee offered to withdraw

Trump CIA nominee offered to withdraw

Haspel's Senate confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday.

It's unclear if Haspel's pledge will be enough to sway Democrats who say the acting Central Intelligence Agency director should be disqualified because she was the chief of base at a covert detention site in Thailand where two terrorism suspects were subjected to waterboarding - a technique that simulates drowning. "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. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to vote against her. Shakir said other senators might be targeted before the Senate votes. For one, it appears that Haspel was an "enthusiastic supporter" of the controversial waterboarding program, which casts her in a negative light.

Among the officials present on Trump's behalf were legislative affairs director Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who tweeted Saturday in support of Haspel's nomination and railed against Democrats who might challenge her confirmation.

Haspel's last-minute second-guessing of whether to maintain her bid is indicative of the uphill climb her nomination faces in Congress. Ahead of this, several top senators have asked tough questions on her role in several torture programmes. Since the Republicans only have a 51-49 hold on the Senate, her confirmation could go down to the wire.

The destruction of the tapes is a key issue for Senate critics of Haspel, who complain that public agency disclosures regarding its interrogation programs have been inadequate.

After Haspel's provide to withdraw, White Home aides labored to reassure her that she had the president's help. After she was found to have destroyed video evidence of the waterboarding, no disciplinary action was taken against Haspel. She also feared unfair attacks on her own reputation, saying that she didn't want to be "the next Ronny Jackson", one official said.

Haspel has told lawmakers in recent weeks that she would stand firm against any effort to restart the brutal detention and interrogation program, administration officials said on Friday. Jackson, Trump's White House doctor, withdrew his nomination to become Veterans Affairs secretary following questions regarding alleged misconduct earlier in his career.

Two sources said Haspel participated in a practice session Friday - called a "murder board" - to prepare for the hearing, a sign the nomination was moving forward.

Haspel has obtained strong backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, navy and nationwide safety officers, who reward her in depth intelligence profession.

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