WATCH LIVE: Trump’s Nominee for CIA Director Gina Haspel Faces Senate Hearing


After much anticipation, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA is set to field questions from senators on Wednesday in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Gina Haspel, a 61-year-old now serving as acting CIA director after Mike Pompeo was tapped for Secretary of State, will face tough questions over her lifelong career as an agent.

Of particular focus: Haspel’s job overseeing a “black site” in Thailand after the 9/11 attacks where terror suspects were tortured in accordance with the enhanced interrogation program. A Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded that the CIA’s methods included waterboarding, beating, forced confinement for extended periods of time, forced standing and nudity.

A number of lawmakers have expressed concerns over Haspel’s role in the US interrogation program — which was deemed torture by the committee report and ended by President Obama in 2009 — including Democrats and a few Republicans.

PBS breaks down Haspel’s chances:

It’s unclear when the committee will vote on Haspel’s nomination. After that, it will go to the full Senate for a vote. Without Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is battling brain cancer, the Republicans hold a 50-49 majority in the Senate. Most Republicans, except Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, are expected to vote for Haspel, but she would need at least one Democratic vote to be confirmed. Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, can be called on to break a tie vote.

Watch the hearing above, set to start at 9:30 a.m., via PBS.

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