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Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel reportedly offered to withdraw

07 May 2018

Fearing that Wednesday's Senate confirmation hearing could shed unnecessary light on classified torture programs that could potentially amount to war crimes and taint her career and the work of the U.S. intelligence community, Haspel was allegedly ready to throw in the towel, before the White House and the CIA rushed to her aid over the weekend.

"Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to Langley, Virgina, to meet with Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon", the daily said.

They stated Haspel, who's the performing director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was reassured that her nomination was nonetheless on monitor and won't withdraw. Her confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. He said that while Haspel was one of the two officers "directly involved in the decision to destroy the tapes", he "found no fault" with what she did.

Haspel's chances of winning Senate confirmation are considered uncertain, in part because of the 51-to-49 party split and the prolonged absence of Sen.

The officials said that Haspel didn't learn sensitive details about the CIA's counterterrorism activities until October 2002, which would have been after the agency's first high-value detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002. He chose to push for Haspel to remain as the nominee after initially signaling he would support whatever decision was taken, administration officials said.

Several unidentified senior United States officials told The Washington Post that Haspel was anxious that the increasing scrutiny over her role in the agency's interrogation program would tarnish her reputation and that of the CIA, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

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Haspel's confirmation is expected to be tenuous, with many Democrats voicing their opposition to her.

Haspel's last-minute second-guessing of whether to maintain her bid is indicative of the uphill climb her nomination faces in Congress.

On the opposing side are groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which says she should have stood up against the interrogation practices then. The nomination has sparked trepidation inside the White House, with some Trump advisers telling the president in recent weeks she was unlikely to be confirmed.

A livelihood veteran of this agency, Ms. Haspel informed White House officers she had been stressed less about her own reputation than on the prospective harm to this C.I.A.by the bruising confirmation battle.

Sanders, meanwhile, tweeted an endorsement of Haspel on Friday.

As with other nominations, this one hit a roadblock but is back on track, said a third administration official familiar with the effort to get her confirmed.

Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel reportedly offered to withdraw