US Senate Confirms Gina Haspel As First Woman CIA Director

BREAKING: Senate confirms Gina Haspel as CIA director

McCaskill opposes Haspel nomination

Human rights groups are lamenting the Senate confirmation of Gina Haspel to be CIA director because of her direct involvement in the spy agency's harsh detention and interrogation program.

Haspel was confirmed in a 54-45 vote, the culmination of a roller-coaster nomination that appeared to be in danger at several points after she was abruptly selected by President Donald Trump in March.

McCaskill's office says she's voted to confirm about 64 percent of Trump's executive nominees, including former Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State of State. Former top intelligence officials said she earned the chance to take the helm of the intelligence agency.

Tortured himself while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, McCain said the country should only use methods to keep itself safe that are "as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world".

Jeff Flake is the third Republican to oppose President Donald Trump's nominee for Central Intelligence Agency director.

The Senate confirmed Haspel today as the first female director of the CIA following a hard nomination process that reopened an emotional debate about brutal interrogation techniques in one of the darkest chapters in the spy agency's history.

The Senate intelligence committee has recommended that the full Senate confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA. In a letter on Monday, she went beyond what she said in her public testimony.

It didn't matter much one way or the other how McCaskill votes on Haspel, who already had garnered more than enough support to be confirmed, said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, the University of Virginia Center for Politics' nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes races.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a floor speech that Haspel "offered up nearly the classic Washington nonapology". Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Bill Nelson of Florida.

But Senate Democrat Elizabeth Warren insisted Haspel's past connection to practices now widely seen as torture should sound the alarm bell. Trump has said in the past that "torture works" and that he would consider using it again.

State Sen. Leah Vukmir has refused to apologize for the claim.

Flake says he still has questions about Haspel's role in the destruction of the tapes. The full Senate could hold a confirmation vote before the end of the week.

Democrats who backed Haspel pointed to her 33-year CIA career, 32 years of which was spent undercover, as well as her broad support from former intelligence officials, including many senior Obama administration officials. A handful of Democrats crossed the aisle earlier in the week, making her confirmation all but guaranteed.

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