WaPo: Fearing Torture Questions, Haspel Briefly Backed Away From CIA Nomination

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel

Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the CIA's reputation and her own, the officials said.

On the opposing aspect are teams such because the American Civil Liberties Union, which says she ought to have stood up in opposition to the interrogation practices then.

Hoping to sway senators his way, Trump tweeted on Wednesday: "Gina Haspel has displayed dedication and leadership throughout her more than three decades of service with the CIA and is the right person to lead the Agency". Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would give Democrats leverage over her nomination ― if they stick together, that is.

Ms. Haspel's offer on Friday to withdraw her nomination sent administration officials scurrying and a group of top aides, including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, headed to C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., to prevent Ms. Haspel from dropping out, these people said.

The Washington Post first reported her offer to withdraw. The problem came to a head Friday afternoon when she was summoned to the White House for some urgent questions, particularly on her role in the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.

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. Her nomination would be in jeopardy only if she loses the support of Republicans, who hold a slim 51-49 seat majority in the Senate. But she believed that he would first get the approval of senior Central Intelligence Agency leaders before sending it, according to people with knowledge of the episode. As of Saturday, Haspel has chose to stick with her nomination.

Short lamented the attacks in recent weeks on Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson who was briefly nominated to be the secretary of veterans affairs.

While the White House has been concerned about her past involvement with the CIA's controversial interrogation program, administration officials said they ultimately believe she will get confirmed.

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

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

Anders, deputy director of the ACLU's legislative office in Washington, said that while the administration has shared tidbits about how Haspel likes country singer Johnny Cash and once met the Roman Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa, it has only declassified one document about her career.

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