Torture claims, destroyed videos shadow Trump's Central Intelligence Agency pick

Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Haspel will attend her confirmation hearing before Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesd

Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Haspel will attend her confirmation hearing before Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesd

The Washington Post reported that she had offered to withdraw he nomination.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Haspel, the deputy director of the agency, told the White House Friday she was interested in pulling her nomination if it meant a confirmation hearing that could prove damaging to both her and the CIA could be avoided.

Pompeo, the CIA's most recent director, played a major role in Trump's decision to nominate Haspel as his replacement. The hope, too, is that the president's comments will motivate Republicans to back her up at Wednesday's hearing and the likely subsequent vote by the full Senate. Two administration officials said May 4 that Haspel is saying that if confirmed, she would be against resurrecting the program even though Trump has supported waterboarding and worse.

In 2002 Haspel ran a so-called Central Intelligence Agency "black site", or secret detention centre which allegedly tortured two suspected al-Qaeda terrorists.

Trump tweeted that his "extremely revered" nominee is being praised for her robust stance on terror.

Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, on Sunday called Haspel a highly qualified nominee.

She said the interrogations did not break laws, were authorized by the Justice Department and fully briefed to members of Congress. Think of 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 Senate report also concluded that the C.I.A. misled the White House and other administration officials about its use of such techniques and portrayed them as more effective than they were.

John Brennan, CIA chief under the Obama administration, used Twitter to appeal for her confirmation by sceptical Democrats.

The CIA responded by saying it had sent more classified documents to the Senate covering her "actual and outstanding record", beginning with her work for the agency's Counter-Terrorism Center after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

One of the leaders of the Women's March movement, Tamika Mallory, blamed US President Donald Trump's proposal to ban.

Lawmakers had complained that despite repeated requests the CIA has failed to declassify information about her more than 30-year undercover career at the agency.

Ms Haspel is somewhat handicapped in sharing information at the open hearing - much of her career has been in the shadows and in unsafe places. Senate Democrats have charged that they were "disturbed" by the classified information they were reading about Haspel.

None of the intelligence committee's seven Democrats has publicly backed Haspel because of concerns about her role in the now-defunct Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program former President George W. Bush authorized after the September 11 attacks.

For her efforts during the operation, which ultimately disrupted a terrorist cell, Haspel in 1999 received the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism.

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