Ret. Admiral Mullen Backs McCain’s Opposition to Haspel: ‘It Was Torture… She Should Be Held Responsible’


Ret. Admiral Michael Mullen appeared on Fox News Sunday, and was asked by host Chris Wallace whether Gina Haspel‘s involvement in enhanced interrogation disqualifies her from the job of CIA Director.

Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, told Wallace, “I’ve aligned myself with Senator John McCain for a long time on views of torture and what the standard is.”

McCain, who was himself detained and tortured for five years during the Vietnam War, has vocally opposed Haspel’s nomination for CIA Director based on her role overseeing the torture of detainees after 9/11.

“He is the gold standard there, so I am very supportive of the position that he has taken in that regard,” Mullen said. “And I recognize lots of intelligence professionals I’ve talked to think Gina is an extraordinary person with a great background. That said, she has a past and recently while she stated that she was in compliance with the law, where I think Senator McCain is, is where I am, is that morally it was wrong.”

“It was torture,” he added. “She should be held responsible for that.”

“And therefore should not be the CIA Director?” Wallace pressed.

“I’m not voting, I will let those that vote make that decision,” Mullen replied.

“But you would say that what she did was wrong?” Wallace asked.

“I’m very much where Senator McCain is,” Mullen said.

Wallace concluded the interview by asking Mullen about Michael Bloomberg vetting him as a running mate in 2016, and Mullen pointed out that he’s not a Never Trumper and has tried to stay out of that political debate.

Watch above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin