Trump's Central Intelligence Agency pick reportedly wanted to withdraw over her controversial past

Aaron Brown
May 7, 2018

But Haspel's nomination to become the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency came close to being scuttled Friday ahead of any hearings - and largely at her own hand, the US officials said.

After Haspel attended a mock hearing for her upcoming confirmation hearing, she said she was "interested" in stepping down as nominee. Dianne Feinstein of California, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Ron Wyden of OR, who have had access to the entire report, have said that the more they read the classified version, the more disturbed they are by the actions Haspel has taken during her career.

During the meeting, Haspel offered to withdraw if that would help the situation, two of the sources said.

Ms. Haspel'therefore offer on Friday to draw her nomination sent administration officials officers as well as also a set of high earners, for example Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, headed to C.I.A. headquarters at Langley, Va., to prevent Ms. Haspel from dropping out, these individuals claimed.

The woman nominated to lead the Central Intelligence Agency has told USA senators privately that she would stand firm against any effort to restart the brutal detention and interrogation programme the agency ran after 9/11, administration officials say.

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.

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Haspel's chances of winning Senate confirmation are considered uncertain, in part because of the 51-to-49 party split and the prolonged absence of Sen. After she was found to have destroyed video evidence of the waterboarding, no disciplinary action was taken against Haspel. As of Saturday, Haspel has made a decision to stick with her nomination.

Trump learned of Haspel's change of heart on Friday and said he still wanted her to be the nominee. She also feared unfair attacks on her own reputation, saying that she didn't want to be "the next Ronny Jackson", one official said.

The sources told the paper that the White House is anxious that Haspel's role in interrogating terror suspects will keep her from getting the votes she needs in the Senate. Jackson, Trump's White House doctor, withdrew his nomination to become Veterans Affairs secretary following questions regarding alleged misconduct earlier in his career.

By Saturday, Haspel had agreed to continue with her nomination, officials told the Post.

Meanwhile, the pieces of information that are known about Haspel are disturbing to those who oppose torture.

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

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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