When Donald Trump made his surprise announcement naming CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, he left a void at the intelligence agency that may – for the first time – be filled by a woman: former CIA deputy director Gina Haspel. Ms Haspel's nomination earned praised from a number of former CIA leaders, but it also stirred controversy: Human rights groups and members of Congress wanted to know more about Ms Haspel's history at the agency – a secretive one, which involved several encounters with the CIA's controversial, post-9/11 interrogation programme. Below is everything we've learned about the nominee and her contentious background. Who is Gina Haspel? The 33-year CIA veteran has served as deputy director of the agency since February 2017, when Mr Trump nominated her to the role. She took over as acting director from Mr Pompeo after his confirmation as Secretary of State. Little is known about career before this, as the bulk of it … [Read more...] about Gina Haspel: Who is the woman Donald Trump wants to take over the CIA?
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Republican Senator John McCain has spoken out against Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director, citing her history with a CIA interrogation programme that some have called torture. Mr McCain, a US Navy veteran who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said Ms Haspel’s failure to deem such practices immoral was “disqualifying”. "I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defence,” he said in a statement. “However, Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying." Read more Who is Gina Haspel, the woman Trump nominated to take over the CIA? Ms Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who briefly oversaw an American “black site” prison where at least one detainee was waterboarded in 2002. She also wrote a cable ordering the destruction of nearly 100 videotapes … [Read more...] about John McCain urges Senate not to confirm Gina Haspel as CIA director
President Donald Trump has defended his embattled nominee for CIA director, claiming Democrats only oppose his pick because she is “too tough on terror”. Mr Trump’s nominee, Gina Haspel, reportedly offered to withdraw from the nomination last week, as questions grew about her role in the CIA’s controversial interrogation programme – including instances of waterboarding and other techniques some have called torture. The president made it clear on Monday that he did not accept her offer. Read more Who is Gina Haspel, the woman Trump nominated to take over the CIA? “My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists,” he tweeted. “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,” he added. “Win Gina!” The White House Press Office … [Read more...] about Trump defends ‘tough on terror’ CIA director nominee who oversaw prison where detainees were ‘tortured’
One of Donald Trump’s federal judicial nominees has failed to say she supports the landmark US Supreme Court ruling that outlawed racial segregation in schools. Wendy Vitter, Mr Trump’s nominee for the US District Court for Eastern District of Louisiana, dodged questions about the historic Brown v Board ruling during her confirmation hearing. “I don’t mean to be coy, but I think I get into a difficult area when I start commenting on Supreme Court decisions, which are correctly decided and which I may disagree with,” she said, when asked whether she thought the ruling had been decided correctly. Read more Trump judicial nominee unable to answer basic legal question withdraws She added that she would set aside her personal, political or religious views if confirmed, and would “of course” uphold the ruling. The decision has been the law of the land since 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled that establishing … [Read more...] about Trump judicial nominee refuses to express support for landmark desegregation ruling
After White House chief of staff John Kelly pressured President Donald Trump last fall to install his top deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen, atop the Department of Homeland Security, the president lost his temper when conservative allies argued she wasn't sufficiently hardline on immigration. "You didn't tell me she was a [expletive] George W. Bush person," Trump growled. After Kelly told Fox News Channel's Bret Baier in a January interview that Trump's immigration views had not been "fully informed" during the campaign and had since "evolved," the president berated Kelly in the Oval Office - his shouts so loud they could be heard through the doors. And just 11 days ago, Kelly grew so frustrated on the day that Trump fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin that Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis both tried to calm him down and offer pep talks, according to three people with knowledge of the incident. "I'm out of here, guys," Kelly said - comments some interpreted as a … [Read more...] about The inside story of how Trump’s Chief of Staff lost his power