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US Republican Senator Paul opposes Pompeo, Haspel nominations

US Republican Senator Paul opposes Pompeo, Haspel nominations

The fact that Trump highlighted Haspel's gender and the potentially historic nature of her appointment would suggest he's proud of himself for selecting her.

Paul's opposition - the first announced by a Republican senator - underscores that both of Trump's nominees face contentious confirmation hearings in the Senate.

Questions will likely include ones aimed at accusations that the agency used torture to get information from terror suspects in the early 2000s.

Paul opposed Pompeo's appointment to run the Central Intelligence Agency a year ago, saying in January 2017 that Pompeo's "desire for security will trump his defense of liberty".

Ms Haspel, who has extensive overseas experience, briefly ran a secret CIA prison where accused terrorists Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002, according to United States intelligence officials.

"This is a woman who has shown she is willing to break the law", said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

When she was picked as deputy CIA director, her career was lauded by veteran intelligence officials, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who recently retired.

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, also has expressed misgivings about Haspel, but supports Pompeo.

"The torture of detainees in US custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history", Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement Tuesday.

Trump has said that he would reintroduce waterboarding and "a lot worse", but there's no indication that his decision to pick Haspel signals a desire to restart the harsh interrogation and detention program.

Every Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel voted against Trump's first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, in January 2017, but the panel advanced his nomination by an 11-10 vote because every Republican, including Paul, backed him. He dinged Pompeo for being a supporter of the Iraq War and wondered why you would want to appoint a war hawk to run a State Department that is supposed to practice diplomacy. Pompeo has said that military strikes on Tehran would be more effective than diplomacy.

"These aren't the kind of people who actually support the notion that the Iraq war was misguided", Paul continued.

"She believes that waterboarding should be something that we use, and I think America shouldn't be known for torture", Paul (R-Ky.) said on "Outnumbered Overtime". Trump has indicated support for the interrogation method. If the committee's 10 Democratic members also oppose Pompeo's or Haspel's appointment, Paul would be the swing vote on the 21-member committee. Haspel, who now serves as CIA deputy director, would move up to replace Pompeo at the agency.

He appeared to be referencing a work quoted in the same ProPublica report that identified Haspel by her title.


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