The swearing-in ceremony for the Central Intelligence Agency director nominee Gina Haspel will begin at 10:35 a.m. EST, with President Donald Trump speaking.
Haspel’s swearing-in, which will be held at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, comes after a long and controversial confirmation process, as many Democratic opponents — and some Republicans — voiced concern over her record of leading a CIA blacksite in Thailand. The CIA tortured terrorist suspects, in accordance with the now banned enhanced interrogation program, under her leadership at the base.
Trump responded to the criticisms of Haspel’s post-9/11 interrogation techniques, tweeting, “Gina Haspel, my highly respected nominee to lead the CIA, is being praised for the fact that she has been, and alway will be, TOUGH ON TERROR! This is a woman who has been a leader wherever she has gone. The CIA wants her to lead them into America’s bright and glorious future!”
The president, along with right-wing media pundits and Republican politicians, also deflected from Haspel’s torture record by pointing to her gender, as Trump — and others — reiterated that she is the first woman picked to lead the CIA.
After a 54-45 vote, Haspel was eventually confirmed in, even though Republican Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and John McCain of Arizona all opposed her nomination. Her confirmation was eventually pushed through with the across the aisle help of six Democrats.
Watch above, via the White House.
[images via screengrab]
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