Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is one of several lawmakers attempting to explain their hypocritical obstruction of Gina Haspel's nomination for CIA director.
"We need a new CIA director who is committed to the rule of law and will heed the advice of U.S. military leaders who vigorously oppose torture and uphold the values that have made us a great and respected nation," Sanders said in a statement last week. "Ms. Haspel is the wrong choice to lead the CIA, and I will oppose her nomination."
However, when John Brennan, who is also tied to President Bush's enhanced interrogation program, was being considered for CIA director, Sanders voted yes, as did 35 other Democrats still in office. CNN's Jake Tapper was the latest news anchor to point it out and ask the senator for an explanation.
"I think Brennan did a good job in his position," Sanders said. "I have serious reservations about this nominee, and I will oppose her."
Yes, but why? If it's all about the enhanced interrogation program?
"It's not just the issue of torture," he said. "It goes, I think, deeper than that, and that is the foreign policy that we have seen from Mr. Trump."
So far, we know of only two Democrats voting for Haspel - Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Joe Donnelly (IN).
Despite his own misgivings with President Trump, Brennan has signaled his support for Haspel on Twitter.
Senators: Show that you put country above politics. Gina Haspel is a competent, experienced, & highly qualified intelligence professional. Ask her tough questions, listen to her answers, & then decide but don’t penalize her for previous policy decisions or because DT picked her.— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) May 7, 2018