McCain urges senators to reject Gina Haspel's Central Intelligence Agency nomination

McCain urges senators to reject Gina Haspel's Central Intelligence Agency nomination

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said he would support her after a "tough, frank and extensive discussion", with Haspel, making him the second Democrat to back her nomination after West Virginia Sen.

He also cited her support from the Central Intelligence Agency directors who served in the Obama administration as a reason for backing Haspel.

So far, the only Senate Republicans who have announced opposition to Haspel are Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona, who is battling cancer and is not expected to be present for the vote.

Haspel, now the acting director of the CIA, told members of the Senate intelligence committee during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday that, if confirmed, she would not restart the interrogation program. For example, while on active duty in the military, I received a directive from the California State Board informing me that as a clinician I was not allowed to participate in any form of interrogation that the board felt would violate my license to practice my profession.

Brutal interrogation practices are banned under United States law, but debate on the issue has resurfaced during Haspel's confirmation process because she was once involved in the CIA's interrogation program.

Ms. Haspel, 61, rejected Democrats' suggestions that she declassify more information about her background, saying that the director should be subject to agency guidelines on keeping its secrets. "Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying", McCain said.

Two days after taking office in 2009, Obama issued an executive order prohibiting all government employees from using any interrogation method that wasn't spelled out in the Army Field Manual, a military guide that banned brutal interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

She has broad, but not unanimous support, from Republicans in the Senate.

"Hoosiers deserve a senator who will stand up and lead, not a career politician who is constantly trying to evaluate whether a decision is right for reelection or their left-wing donor base", Braun said.

"Sen. McCain's view of what the country's doing won the day", Graham told AP. She pushed back on charges that the programme was immoral, insisting that her own "moral compass is strong", and fought to describe what she said were the CIA's successes in capturing most-wanted men. Harris has since said she will vote against Haspel's confirmation.

The panel is expected to send the nomination on to the full Senate in coming weeks where confirmation will be tight.

She warned that confirming Haspel would send a message to allies that the US approves of what happened after 9-11.

Donnelly joins fellow Democratic Sen.

Other Democrats are weighing their votes.

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