Later Tuesday, Warner said he would likely support Haspel’s nomination, joining two Democratic colleagues in supporting her as well as giving a major boost to her chances of becoming CIA director. The senator said he faced a “difficult decision” although felt Haspel was “forthcoming regarding her views on the interrogation program.”
“I’m going to support Gina Haspel’s nomination to be Director of the CIA. I also respect my colleagues who have made a different decision,” Warner said in a statement.
Shortly after Warner announced his support, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., as well as Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also said they would likely back Haspel, further bolstering her bid. Both senators face re-election in a state Trump won later This particular year.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is actually scheduled to vote on Haspel’s nomination Wednesday. that will’s not yet clear when the full Senate would likely vote on whether to confirm her.
Two various other red-state senators up for re-election This particular year — Joe Manchin of West Virginia as well as Joe Donnelly of Indiana — have announced they will support Haspel. Sen. John McCain — an Arizona Republican who was tortured during the Vietnam War — as well as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have both said they will oppose Trump’s choice to lead the CIA.
Republicans have pressed red-state Democrats including Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Heitkamp, Manchin as well as Donnelly to support Haspel’s confirmation. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat up for re-election This particular year, has already said he will oppose her.
During the hearing last week, Haspel tried to assure lawmakers that will she would likely not allow the use of the interrogation tactics that will are broadly viewed as torture. As a candidate, Trump said he supports the use of waterboarding or worse tactics.
Repeatedly pressed about whether she would likely allow tactics she considers immoral, Haspel at times evaded senators’ questions as well as noted that will the CIA does not have a formal role in interrogations.
She said she would likely not restore “under any circumstances” an interrogation program at the CIA as well as supports the “higher moral standard” the U.S. holds right now.