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John McCain Weighs In on Gina Haspel: ‘Her Refusal to Acknowledge Torture’s Immorality is Disqualifying’

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has publicly weighed in on President Trump‘s nominee Gina Haspel to head the CIA.

Haspel had her confirmation hearing ahead of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where she faced a tough grilling about her tenure overseeing a black site in Thailand where waterboarding was done on suspected terrorists. She was repeatedly asked by Senate Democrats whether she thought such torture techniques were “immoral.

McCain, who was a POW during the Vietnam War, took to Twitter on Wednesday night and expressed his dissent for the nominee.

“I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country & has devoted her professional life to its service & defense,” McCain tweeted. “However, her role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”

Below is the full statement issued on his website:

“Today, Gina Haspel testified before the Senate and to the country about her qualifications to lead the CIA. This occasion provided an opportunity to provide details about her experience in the CIA, explain her involvement in the so-called enhanced interrogation program during the Bush Administration, and account for the mistakes the country made in torturing detainees held in U.S. custody after the September 11th attacks. Unfortunately, the testimony the American people heard from Ms. Haspel today failed to address these concerns.

“Like many Americans, I understand the urgency that drove the decision to resort to so-called enhanced interrogation methods after our country was attacked. I know that those who used enhanced interrogation methods and those who approved them wanted to protect Americans from harm. I appreciate their dilemma and the strain of their duty. But as I have argued many times, the methods we employ to keep our nation safe must be as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world.

“I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense. However, Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination.”

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