The top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee will vote for Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director, all but ensuring President Donald Trump's pick to lead the agency will have enough votes to win Senate confirmation.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is due to vote on Wednesday on whether to approve Haspel.
She's expected to be given a positive recommendation from the committee, and will then likely face a full Senate vote sometime next week.
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"I'm going to support Gina Haspel's nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency".
The letter, delivered to Warner along with her written responses to other questions posed by senators, struck a different tone than Haspel took at her confirmation hearing last week.
Haspel wrote that she has "learned the hard lessons since 9/11". However, in both our one-on-one meetings and in classified session before the Committee, I found Acting Director Haspel to be more forthcoming regarding her views on the interrogation program, which is why I asked her to memorialize those comments in writing.
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Haspel has been slammed by Senator John McCain and (other) Democrats for opposing her nomination, citing her role in the use of waterboarding to extract key intel from radical Islamic terrorists after the 9/11 attacks. Though she vowed during her testimony never to restart a detention and interrogation program and said she would obey current law, she also refused to condemn the agency's defunct torture program and insisted that it had been legal at the time.
She needs only 50 votes but Republicans enjoy just a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber.
"If I can change one person's mind about what torture is and what I would do to protect American freedom, I will do this for years", he said.
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McCain, who was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War, criticized Haspel on May 9. Uh, Senator Warner? You do realize that Virginia is now a blue-leaning state, certainly not North Dakota or West Virginia or IN or whatever? Trump blasts White House leakers as "traitors" Haspel confirmation vote set for Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - Trump makes history with foreign policy decisions MORE (Ind.) have said they will vote for Haspel.