Claire McCaskill voted against President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director Thursday, saying that Gina Haspel's record at the spy agency showed that her "instincts and judgment" were not "in line with our country's moral compass".
"Gina Haspel has openly acknowledged that, as the Acting CIA Director, she is making the decisions about what gets declassified about herself and what does not". She's the first CIA operations officer to rise through the ranks to the agency's top position in five decades. He says Human Rights First is putting Haspel on notice that Congress and the American people will hold her to her pledge to never reinstate such a program in the future. "At a time when our nation faces a myriad of threats around the world, I am confident Gina Haspel is the right person at the right time to lead our global intelligence programs".
Haspel has built a "respectful" relationship with the president over the last 16 months, when she served as Pompeo's deputy, according to an intelligence official who declined to speak publicly in order to describe private conversations. McCain, as mentioned, was also opposed and would not have voted aye had he been there. Of those six Democrats, four have said they are voting for Haspel, Sen.
The nomination, confirmed 54-55, would have failed without the support of the six Democratic senators, four of whom face hard re-election campaigns this year in states that Trump carried.
Haspel's supporters cited her 33-year career at the agency.
"Due to the overwhelming public evidence suggesting Haspel's participation and compliance with crimes including torture, enforced disappearance, and obstruction of justice, Haspel's nomination is an affront to human rights", Daphne Eviatar of Amnesty International USA said in a statement on Tuesday.
"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense".
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The committee voted Wednesday in a closed session before a hearing on the intelligence community's assessment of 2017 Russian election meddling, in which former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers are testifying.
The vote followed a heated nomination battle that reopened the country's painful debate over the CIA's use of torture after the September 11 attacks.
Other Democrats voting yes were Sen.
"I knew in my gut when I saw the video of the first plane hitting the tower in Manhattan that it was Bin Laden", she recalled. Haspel also received the support of the editorial boards of New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard.
"That's hypothetical", she said. In her hands "I feel very comfortable and very good", he added.