CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel continues to face pushback for her past participation in enhanced interrogation techniques. The program, which was employed after the September 11 terror attacks, has long been criticized for its use of torture. Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) have written entire op-eds explaining why her role in the program should disqualify her from leading the CIA. All the negative headlines suggest that her confirmation hearing this week will not be a walk in the park. The criticism has been so severe she reportedly even considered withdrawing her nomination on Friday.
But, President Trump is standing by her. He even needled Democrats for missing an opportunity to confirm the first female CIA director in history.
My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists. Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also came to Ms. Haspel's defense. No one who wasn't in a leadership position during September 11, 2001 has the right to criticize Haspel, Rice insisted on "Fox & Friends" last week.
"If you were not in a position of authority on September 11, you have no idea the pressures that we faced to try and make sure that this country wasn't attacked again," Rice said.
Haspel, who is currently the CIA's deputy director, is going full steam ahead with her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee this Wednesday. Will her critics dare call her a "war criminal" to her face?