Trump CIA pick sought to withdraw over 'torture' concerns

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According to the Washington Post, Gina Haspel sought to have her nomination withdrawn on Friday - in advance of what's certain to be a tough confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee this Wednesday.

The Washington Post reports that CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel wanted to pull out over questions about her involvement with an interrogation program.

The Washington Times noted that once the White House heard of Haspel's uncertainty, White House aides, including Marc Short and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, went to Virginia to meet with her.

Only on Saturday afternoon was the White House assured she would not withdraw, the Post quoted the officials as saying. An administration official also told CBS News that her nomination remains on track.

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.

Showers Sunday before continued cool, dry stretch
Overall it will be a nice weekend with Saturday being the warmer of the two days as temperatures soar in to the low to mid 70s. This is the low that will eventually steal the energy and as it works its way up, but off the East Coast.


Haspel, who would be the first woman to lead the CIA, is the first career operations officer to be nominated to lead the agency in decades. Her nomination would be in jeopardy only if she loses the support of Republicans, who hold a slim 51-49 seat majority in the Senate. "Her experience may have served her well as deputy, but the top position is another matter entirely".

Haspel's vow to fight any attempt to resurrect the previous Central Intelligence Agency program puts her in the same camp as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has advised Trump that he doesn't think torture is an effective interrogation tactic.

Sanders, meanwhile, tweeted an endorsement of Haspel on Friday. "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". Many Democrats have said she should be disqualified because she was the chief of base at a covert detention site in Thailand where two terrorism suspects were subjected to waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning.

Haspel's supporters argue that while she drafted the cable, Rodriguez sent it without the approval of CIA Director Porter Goss and without informing Haspel that he would do so.

Haspel is also promising to ensure that the CIA remains focused on its core mission of collection and analysis and that the agency abides by its values of "service, integrity and courage".

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