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But Trump, who has several times expressed his support of torture, including waterboarding, today tweeted defending Haspel as "the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror".

The president said on Twitter that Gina Haspel has "come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists". Think of that, at these very unsafe occasions, we have probably the most capable man, a girl, who Democrats want OUT due to the fact she's too tough on terror. Nevertheless, by Saturday afternoon, the White House convinced her to continue with her nomination. There, after a terse discussion, Haspel offered to withdraw her nomination, anxious that her hearing would damage both the C.I.A.'s reputation and her own.

CIA Director-nominee Gina Haspel attends the ceremonial swearing in for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington. "Any Democrat who claims to support women's empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite".

Haspel feared becoming "the next Ronny Jackson", the White House physician who withdrew his nomination as Veterans Affairs secretary amid questions about alleged misconduct on the job, one official told the Post.

"When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why she is so admired and why she is and will be a great leader for this Agency", the spokesperson said.

Haspel's nomination has been widely criticized on both sides of the aisle given her record of advocating for and, allegedly overseeing, torture during her time at the Central Intelligence Agency and, in particular, her participation in the extraordinary rendition program introduced during the most recent Bush administration. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who was himself subject to torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has also pressed Ms. Haspel on her record. She served nearly entirely undercover and much of her record is classified.

"Ms. Haspel also appears to have strongly advocated for and played a key role in carrying out an order to destroy 92 videotapes of individuals in US custody being subjected to torture", the former leaders said in their letter.

Her career has brought her to the United Kingdom twice, where she acted as the chief of the London station.

"In the interest of the CIA, Haspel is a fortunate choice because, for too long, the CIA has been run by amateurs and political operatives who spend their time figuring out how the agency works", Baer wrote. "We're glad she's moving forward".

"Haspel was not the architect of the CIA's enhanced interrogations".

Trump had made a decision to push her to stay the nominee, according to the paper.


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