Planner, Tortured by CIA, Asks to Tell Senators About Gina Haspel

Charlene Craig
May 9, 2018

Trump's controversial pick for CIA chief is preparing to be grilled by the Senate - Gina Haspel is implicated in the Agency's notorious torture programs.

Trump slammed Democrats via Twitter for questioning his nominee's qualifications because Haspel is "tough on terror".

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. 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. He added that "in these very unsafe times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror". The White House is gearing up for a fight - leaning on red-state Democrats, and Haspel's potential to become the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency - to get her over the finish line. He said "there's a huge amount still to be learned" about Haspel's previous work, which is "a flawless test of what she might face right now".

Trump said he thought Tester would have a "big price to pay in Montana" over the accusations against Jackson.

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Trump has labeled both Clapper and Brennan, former Obama administration officials, as liars and leakers.

In an April 24 letter to Feinstein and other senators, Jaime Cheshire, the CIA's director of congressional affairs, said the agency is committed to providing a "complete picture" of Haspel's 33-year CIA career, including her time working in its counterterrorism center.

"The reason you're seeing contingency planning isn't a lack of confidence in Gina, but because they're seeing the Democrats band together. they're anxious they're not going to have the votes, ' a former national security source told the network". He said a memo drafted by Haspel calling for the destruction of interrogation tapes - which were shredded in 2005 - was ordered by Rodriguez and that she believed Rodriguez would seek permission from then-CIA Director Porter Goss before carrying it out.

"She's truly a spymaster", said one retired senior intelligence official who knows Haspel well. No Democrats have said they intend to vote for Haspel. She told reporters the sessions had been "great".

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The White House is expected to announce the date and location of Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

She has received robust backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security officials, who praise her extensive intelligence career.

At the heart of Wednesday confirmation hearing will be an examination of what happened in Detention Site Green, a secret prison in Thailand which Haspel briefly ran in 2002; her role in overseeing interrogation while running the agency's counter-terrorism centre in the two years after that; and how much say she had in a decision to destroy interrogation videotapes without the explicit assent of the CIA leadership of congressional oversight committees.

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