Trump keeps up support for ‘tough on terror’ Haspel
President Donald Trump on Tuesday kept up a drumbeat of public support for his CIA director nominee, Gina Haspel, ahead of her confirmation hearing this week.
“Gina Haspel, my highly respected nominee to lead the CIA, is being praised for the fact that she has been, and alway (sic) will be, TOUGH ON TERROR!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “This is a woman who has been a leader wherever she has gone. The CIA wants her to lead them into America’s bright and glorious future!”
Haspel, who has been tapped to succeed current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is likely to face questions about her past involvement with the CIA’s controversial interrogation program during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Republicans control 51 seats in the Senate, but at least one GOP member — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — has said he plans to vote against Haspel. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is recovering from cancer treatment in his home state and, as someone who himself was tortured while he was a prisoner of war, is among the most passionate advocates against torture in Congress.
This means Haspel will likely need the support of at least a few Democrats in order to be confirmed.
Many Democrats have signaled they’ll wait for the hearing before weighing in on whether they’ll support Haspel — at least publicly. On Monday evening, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a swing vote who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, made his clearest indication yet in an interview with CNN that he could support Haspel, calling her a “true soldier” and someone who has “done her job.”
Trump also urged Senate support for Haspel on Monday, saying she has “come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists.”