news 1 week ago

The Latest: Arizona's Flake opposes Haspel for CIA chief

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the nomination of Gina Haspel to head the CIA (all times local):

6 p.m.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is the third Republican to oppose President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director.

Flake said in a statement Wednesday that while he appreciates Haspel's 30-year career at the CIA, the United States needs to turn the page on the spy agency's former program of detaining and harshly interrogating terror suspects.

Haspel supervised one of the covert detention sites in Thailand where suspects were harshly interrogated. She also drafted a cable that her boss sent ordering the destruction of videotapes showing one detainee's ordeal at the site.

Flake says he still has questions about Haspel's role in the destruction of the tapes.

GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona also oppose Haspel. McCain is battling cancer and is not expected to be present to vote.

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10:45 a.m.

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris says she remains concerned about CIA nominee Gina Haspel's "commitment to transparency."

The Senate intelligence committee voted 10-5 on Wednesday to recommend the full Senate confirm Haspel.

Harris and four other Democrats voted against her.

Harris says Haspel's unwillingness to share more detailed information about the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques is "deeply troubling." Haspel supervised a covert detention site in Thailand but has vowed never to allow the CIA to restart such a program in the future.

Haspel also drafted a cable ordering the destruction of videotapes depicting harsh interrogation of terror suspects after 9/11, although her boss actually sent the order.

No charges were filed, but Harris wants the Justice Department to declassify an investigative report into the matter.

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9:35 a.m.

The Senate intelligence committee has recommended that the full Senate confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA.

The panel voted 10-5 in favor of Gina Haspel in a closed session Wednesday.

Haspel had already picked up Democratic support and appears on a path to confirmation. The full Senate is expected to vote on her nomination as early as this week.

Her nomination has renewed debate over the harsh interrogation program the CIA conducted on terror suspects after 9/11. Haspel has vowed not to restart such a program, but has declined to disclose details about her involvement.

All eight Republicans and two of the seven Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee earlier expressed support for Haspel. The remaining five Democrats had announced their opposition.

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12:17 a.m.

President Donald Trump's pick to be the next CIA director appears headed for confirmation.

Gina Haspel is picking up Democratic support and is expected to get a nod on Wednesday from the Senate intelligence committee. The full Senate could hold a confirmation vote before the end of the week.

Five Democrats have announced that they will vote to confirm Haspel.

She is a career intelligence official, but her nomination has been controversial because she was involved in the CIA's post-9/11 program of detaining and harshly interrogating terror suspects.

On Tuesday, Haspel said that with the benefit of hindsight and her experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one that the CIA should have undertaken.

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