Second Democrat announces support for CIA nominee Gina Haspel

John McCain Urges Senate To Reject Nominee For CIA Head Over Torture Support

A second Democrat on Saturday said he would vote to confirm Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee for CIA director, moving the agency veteran a significant step closer to confirmation.

The senator from IN, who met with Haspel on Thursday, said IN a statement that he had "a tough, frank, and extensive discussion" with her that covered both her vision for the agency and its past use of "enhanced" interrogations against terrorist captives, including methods such as waterboarding that are widely considered torture.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also hails from Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville, had high praise for Haspel and said he plans to vote to confirm her.

During questioning by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Haspel said she "doesn't believe that torture works".

Haspel promised the same committee Wednesday that "under my leadership Central Intelligence Agency will not restart ... a detention and interrogation program" such as the one the Central Intelligence Agency pursued during the George W. Bush administration. And in 2005, under her boss's direction, she drafted a cable ordering the agency to destroy more than 90 videotapes of its interrogation of that man. "Ms. Haspel is eminently qualified, she is widely esteemed, and she is absolutely the right person at the right moment for this position". "Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying". Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has said he expects Haspel will be confirmed.

A senior Democratic source told Fox News this week that it was unclear if the Senate Democratic leadership would whip against Haspel, and that several Democrats may eventually vote for her.

More news: Five 'most-wanted' ISIS commanders have been captured, Trump says

"Sen. McCain's view of what the country's doing won the day", Graham told AP.

However, she said she would never bring back such programmes even if directly ordered by Trump. "And yet all we've gotten are select records that don't address her participation in extraordinary rendition", the senator wrote.

The panel is expected to send the nomination on to the full Senate in coming weeks where confirmation will be tight. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia - who also is up for reelection in a state that went for Trump - announced earlier this week that he would support Haspel's nomination.

She warned that confirming Haspel would send a message to allies that the US approves of what happened after 9-11.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, asked her to define her "moral code".

Over the past few days, Mike Braun, the Republican nominee for Senate in IN, attacked Donnelly for being undecided on Haspel's nomination and playing a political game with his vote, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

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