CIA Head Nominee Offers to Withdraw Over Enhanced Interrogation Program
President Trump's nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, offered to withdraw amid concerns that a debate over the George W. Bush-era enhanced interrogation program would damage her reputation and that of the CIA, the Washington Post reported yesterday.
Haspel's withdrawal offer reportedly came Friday during a meeting with White House officials who wanted more information about her involvement in the CIA's post-9/11 use of controversial harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects, and raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed by the Senate. Haspel, who is the current acting director of the CIA, was reassured that her nomination was still moving forward and that there was no need for her to withdraw.
Democratic critics charge Haspel should be disqualified because she was the base chief at a covert detention site in Thailand where two terrorism suspects were waterboarded. AP cited administration officials Friday as saying Haspel has told lawmakers in recent weeks that she would strongly oppose any attempt to restart the harsh interrogation program.