Top Senate intelligence Democrat to vote for Trump's CIA chief nominee

Sen. John McCain Says Gina Haspel Is Not The Right Fit To Lead The CIA

Sen. John McCain Says Gina Haspel Is Not The Right Fit To Lead The CIA

Haspel has been scrutinized throughout her confirmation process over her role in the CIA's detention and interrogation program.

While Haspel is expected to easily clear the panel in a closed-door vote on Wednesday, her confirmation at the full Senate depends on winning support from key Democrats, largely those from conservative or centrist states, who are under enormous pressure from outside liberal and human rights groups to block her.

The Democratic support gives Haspel's contentious nomination some much-needed breathing room. John McCain, Arizona Republican, is not expected because he is home battling cancer.

Warner's decision comes ahead of a Wednesday committee vote on her nomination, which would likely tee up a final confirmation vote in the Senate next week.

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. He was suggesting, and with good reason, that a Clinton nomination of Haspel would have produced a unanimous vote. At the time Haspel led a secret prison in Thailand, where during interrogation, the two suspected of terrorism were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding.

Kennedy said he hopes his waterboarding video will calm people down about the use of this controversial interrogation technique, which has since been banned amid public uproar.

In a letter to Warner dated Monday, Haspel said the Central Intelligence Agency should not have undertaken a past harsh interrogation program, which has been a focus of debate over her confirmation. "Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying".

"See, I think people who have actually been tortured who are saying this is not a good thing, you should listen to them because you have never been tortured", she told Trump.

Under a tough grilling last week, Haspel pledged she would not restart the waterboarding program, even if pressured by President Trump - who has supported bringing back waterboarding or something worse.

Every agency of American foreign policy-the CIA, NSA, Pentagon and a dozen other intelligence agencies, as well as the State Department-are collectively responsible for defending the interests of American imperialism by every possible means: subversion, assassination, illegal surveillance and war.

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