"My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists", Trump tweeted, referring to criticisms of Haspel's tenure overseeing a black site CIA prison in Thailand after 9/11, where detainees were subjected to brutal torture, including sleep deprivation and waterboarding.
The fight over Gina Haspel's confirmation to the post has renewed controversy over the CIA's torture of terror suspects in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. That comparison is apt only in that she could and should face hard questioning from the Senate, as Mr. Trump's one-time nominee to lead the Veterans Administration would have. "I know that she is talented but I also know that she was fully supportive of the program that many of us are very critical of", she said. Haspel ran a "black site" in Thailand, at a time when the US enhanced interrogation program included waterboarding and other torture practices for terror suspects.
The most qualified person for a job is a woman... wait, what? There, after a terse discussion, Haspel offered to withdraw her nomination, anxious that her hearing would damage both the C.I.A.'s reputation and her own.
Warner's letter and the additional classified documents come ahead of Haspel's Wednesday confirmation hearing, in which Haspel's performance may determine whether she can secure enough votes to be confirmed as the first female director at Langley.
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon said at the Cipher Brief's annual Threat Conference in Georgia in April that Haspel was one of her "dearest friends and favorite colleagues", noting that Haspel "is so solid, so true, and so not breathless that she will be an unbelievable leader of CIA".
Haspel's work also has been praised by members of the Obama administration - like former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell.
Officials dropped two cardboard boxes that said "HAND CARRY" written by a felt-tip marker; one box went to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the other to the Senate's security office.
White House spokesman Raj Shah defended Haspel last week, saying that her "nomination will not be derailed by partisan critics who side with the ACLU over the Central Intelligence Agency on how to keep the American people safe". "We're glad she's moving forward".
A group of Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Sens.
It was at that meeting she apparently indicated her interest in withdrawing, reportedly fearing the Senate questioning could damage her reputation and the CIA's.