The Latest: McCain questions Trump’s pick for CIA
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Trump’s decision to pick Gina Haspell as CIA director (all times local):
Sen. John McCain says Gina Haspel needs to explain the “nature and extent” of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program as the Senate considers her nomination as President Trump’s pick for agency director.
The Republican senator calls the torture of detainees in U.S. custody “one of the darkest chapters in American history” and he says the Senate must scrutinize her involvement in the “disgraceful program.”
McCain has been battling brain cancer back home in Arizona. He tweeted his concerns Tuesday after Trump announced Haspel’s nomination.
As deputy director, Haspel has not previously undergone Senate confirmation. A career veteran at the CIA, she oversaw a secret agency prison where terror suspects were waterboarded, a technique that simulates drowning.
President Donald Trump’s choice to be the first female director of the CIA is a career spymaster who once ran an agency prison in Thailand where terror suspects were subjected to a harsh interrogation technique that the president has supported.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that he has selected Gina Haspel to replace Mike Pompeo, who will replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
Haspel has extensive overseas experience and most recently has been deputy director of the CIA.
She briefly ran a secret CIA prison where accused terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002. That’s according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue.