CIA nominee Gina Haspel defends reputation at hearing

President Trump's pick to be the next CIA director, Gina Haspel, was grilled by lawmakers in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In prepared remarks, Haspel addressed the controversy surrounding her involvement in the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program.


At her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Haspel said the CIA would not restart an "enhanced interrogation" program under her leadership, even though President Trump has claimed that torture "works."


Haspel testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning at her confirmation hearing. She needs votes from Democratic and Republican senators to be confirmed as the next CIA director.

That could be a challenge for Haspel since Democrats argued that the public should know more about her record. Still, many Democrats have signaled they would wait for the hearing before weighing in on whether they'll support Haspel -- at least publicly.

During the public hearing, Haspel was grilled about her involvement in the CIA's interrogation tactics and her role in the destruction of tapes.

Here's what we learned:

Haspel told her origin story with the intelligence service, beginning when she joined in 1985 and navigated "dead drops," "dusty back allies," and a "dark, moonless night.

She said she "absolutely" supported destroying the torture tapes. Haspel added that her boss alone "made the decision to destroy the tapes."
The reason for destroying the tapes: There "was a great deal of concern about the security risk" posed to CIA officers who were depicted on the tapes, she said.

Haspel said she doesn't believe torture works.

She promised to "never, ever take CIA back to an interrogation program."

Haspel said she doesn't think Trump would ask for a personal pledge of loyalty.

Protesters continually interrupted her hearing, and at least one of them yelled, "Bloody Gina!"

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