Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Vulnerable Democrat announces support for Trump's controversial Central Intelligence Agency pick

Vulnerable Democrat announces support for Trump's controversial Central Intelligence Agency pick

She pushed back on charges that the programme was immoral, insisting that her own "moral compass is strong", and fought to describe what she said were the CIA's successes in capturing most-wanted men.

Brutal interrogation practices are now banned under US law, but debate on the issue has re-surfaced during Haspel's confirmation process because she was once involved in the CIA's interrogation program.

Other democrats are also undecided, but Donnelly's support seems likely to shift the numbers in Haspel's favor despite the opposition she has received.

McCain, a former navy pilot who was tortured while held prisoner in Hanoi during the Vietnam War, called for lawmakers on Wednesday to reject Haspel's nomination due to her role overseeing the torture of detainees.

With a statement on Saturday that doesn't once mention the word "torture", Sen.

"As our country faces dynamic and challenging security threats, it is critically important that our intelligence agencies have the leadership and support that they need to help keep Americans safe and defend our nation from those who wish to do us harm", Donnelly said. Both of them hail from states that Trump won by overwhelming margins.

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During the event, Trump and Pence criticized Donnelly for his voting record, while also pushing him to support the Central Intelligence Agency nominee.

Haspel's chances of winning confirmation improved following a hearing that, while contentious, featured no major missteps by the nominee. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Fox News this week that he expected Haspel to be confirmed "handily".

In recent days, senators coming out against Haspel include independent Angus King of ME, and Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both from California, Elizabeth Warren of MA, and Tim Kaine of Virginia. Haspel spoke in Russian at one point, underscoring her long experience running clandestine operations against Russia, these people said.

Kelly Sadler was discussing McCain's opposition to Haspel at a staff meeting on Thursday when she made the comment, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Haspel had previously been serving as deputy director.

With McCain out and Sen. McCain is recovering from surgery related to his brain cancer in Arizona and was not expected to be present when the Senate votes on Haspel's nomination. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) remains on the fence.

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