Missouri Sens. McCaskill, Blunt split on approving Central Intelligence Agency chief

Senate confirms Gina Haspel to lead CIA, first woman to hold post

Haspel Confirmed As CIA's First Female Director

The Senate Intelligence Committee has sent the nomination to the full Senate by a 10-5 vote, and her confirmation seems all but certain.

Republican Senator John McCain, who has been away from Washington all year while battling brain cancer, urged the Senate not to vote for Haspel.

But Democrat Ron Wyden, one of the most strident opponents of the torture program, said he still has "grave concerns" about her suitability, rooted in still-classified matters that Haspel and the agency refused to make public.

Haspel will be the first female to lead the spy agency, taking over from Mike Pompeo, who was elevated to secretary of state by President Donald Trump.

"I agree with many in the military and my friend and colleague Senator John McCain - the only United States senator who understands torture in a way I hope no American will experience ever again - that the Central Intelligence Agency needs a leader who is willing to take a stand when the policies don't reflect our values".

Haspel, the current deputy director, takes the helm at a time of shifting alliances and intelligence threats from Iran to North Korea to Russian Federation, unfolding after President Trump tried to cast doubt on the intelligence community's judgment as part of his broader attack on the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking member of the intelligence committee.

Several senators said Haspel was not forthcoming in answering questions about her role in the torture program or the CIA's decision to destroy videotaped evidence of the sessions.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called President Donald Trump's choice of Haspel to lead the agency "the right woman at the right time".

"I would not restart, under any circumstances, an interrogation program at CIA", Haspel testified.

An undercover officer for most of her CIA career, Ms Haspel in 2002 served as CIA station chief in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using methods including waterboarding.

In 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the use of torture after 9/11. Republican John McCain was absent. From beginning to end, the process was a cover-up to suppress information on the CIA's torture program.

Ahead of voting, McConnell said Haspel "demonstrated candor, integrity, and a forthright approach" throughout the confirmation process and "has quietly earned the respect and admiration" of intelligence community leaders at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and overseas. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sen. In that, she joined Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sen.

These explanations seem to convince Warner, who supported her and was convinced that Haspel "is someone who will stand up and confront president if he orders him to do something illegal or immoral, like returning to torture".

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