Sanders Plays 'The Woman Card' To Drum Up Support For Gina Haspel

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Attorney David Irvine speaks at a meeting of Salt Lake Indivisible a grass-roots bipartisan group organizing against President Donald Trump. The meeting was held at Wasatch Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City Wedne

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Attorney David Irvine speaks at a meeting of Salt Lake Indivisible a grass-roots bipartisan group organizing against President Donald Trump. The meeting was held at Wasatch Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City Wedne

Gina Haspel's offer to withdraw on Friday was prompted by growing concern among her supporters that White House staff were becoming nervous that the nomination was in trouble, anonymous sources told The Washington Post.

Fearing that Wednesday's Senate confirmation hearing could shed unnecessary light on classified torture programs that could potentially amount to war crimes and taint her career and the work of the United States intelligence community, Haspel was allegedly ready to throw in the towel, before the White House and the CIA rushed to her aid over the weekend.

Haspel had worked in a number of overseas posts, including as chief of a major CIA station, and served as the acting head of the National Clandestine Service in 2013 before Senator Dianne Feinstein of the intelligence committee blocked her permanent promotion to that job.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to guilt feminist Democrats into backing CIA deputy director Gina Haspel to head the agency - despite accusations of past support for waterboarding - because she's a woman.

The CIA has reportedly used waterboarding on extrajudicial prisoners.

These comments come after it was said that she wanted to withdraw her name to avoid bringing damage to the CIA's reputation, as reported the New York Times.

Goldberg was responding to a tweet by Sanders, which called "any Democrat who claims to support women's empowerment but opposes" Haspel's nomination a "total hypocrite".

A Central Intelligence Agency spokesperson told CNN on Sunday, "There has been a fascinating phenomenon over the last few weeks". While the CIA recently agreed to shed light on some of her records, the intelligence agency maintained that certain details about her career must remain classified.

But Haspel's nomination would be more than an embarrassment if it succeeds.

Haspel was personally involved in the torture of detainees during the Bush administration. Jackson, Trump's White House doctor, withdrew his nomination to become Veterans Affairs secretary after questions regarding allegations of misconduct earlier in his career.

Information for this article was contributed by Carol D. Leonnig, Shane Harris and Josh Dawsey of The Washington Post; and by Zeke Miller and Deb Riechmann of The Associated Press.

As with other nominations, this one hit a roadblock but is back on track, said a third administration official familiar with the effort to get her confirmed.

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