Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Gina Haspel offered to withdraw nomination as next Central Intelligence Agency director

Gina Haspel offered to withdraw nomination as next Central Intelligence Agency director

Ingraham kicked off her Monday show by defending Melania Trump from critical responses to her Be Best initiative and dismissing the media reports on how Haspel's CIA Director nomination has come under enormous pressure because of her record of involvement with Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

Trump slammed Democrats via Twitter for questioning his nominee's qualifications because Haspel is "tough on terror". King, who caucuses with the Democrats, says he had a good private meeting with Haspel to discuss her nomination - but has further questions for her. "The CIA needs her to guide them into America's brilliant and wonderful future!" he mentioned.

Haspel's conversations with senators continue ahead of Wednesday's confirmation hearing at the Senate Intelligence Committee and a later full vote in the Senate.

Haspel testifies Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee for her confirmation hearing. She is expected to face tough scrutiny from lawmakers over her role in the agency's detention and interrogation program.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Haspel, the deputy director of the agency, told the White House Friday she was interested in pulling her nomination if it meant a confirmation hearing that could prove damaging to both her and the CIA could be avoided.

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"Her oversight of a Central Intelligence Agency black site is an extreme moral offense that overrides any other qualifications she might have to serve as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency", the petition said. That puzzled some of her critics who think Trump's comment won't help, and could even hamper efforts to woo Democrats' support. Rand Paul of Kentucky has already vowed not to vote for her because of her role in the torture program. "That is demoralizing. That is politicizing what they do", said Burlingame, whose brother Charles "Chic" Burlingame was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.

With dozens of Democrats saying they will vote against her, support from Maine's senators could be pivotal.

After Haspel's offer to withdraw, White House aides worked to reassure her that she had the president's support. Warner also wrote that the information the CIA has released thus far about Haspel, who is now acting CIA director, opens the agency up "to the criticism that it is only releasing favorable materials while suppressing related items that could reflect negatively".

The news of Haspel's offer to withdraw comes less than two weeks after another Trump nominee, Ronny Jackson, withdrew his own nomination to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary over misconduct allegations. But others have disputed any characterization of Haspel as some kind of cheerleader of the harsh treatment of detainees and noted that the program was authorized by the president, deemed legal by administration lawyers and briefed to members of Congress.

In the memo, Morell, who was following up on an investigation by a special prosecutor, found fault with Haspel's former boss at the time, Director of the National Clandestine Service Jose Rodriguez.

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