WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – During a confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel was grilled about her history with the agency.
“Experience has taught us that the CIA cannot be effective without the people’s trust,” said Haspel in her opening remarks.
In her opening statement, Haspel addressed the most controversial part of her 33-year career as a spy – her involvement in the post- 9/11 interrogations of terror suspects, which critics have likened to torture.
“Under my leadership, on my watch, the CIA will not restart a detention and interrogation program,” she told the Senate panel.
President Donald Trump chose Haspel after the previous CIA Director Mike Pompeo was elevated to Secretary of State. While Haspel is said to have broad support among the U.S. intelligence community, her confirmation is far from certain.
Republicans hold only a slim majority in the Senate and not all have pledged to support Haspel. One of them, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, has already said he’s planning to vote ‘no’. If he does, Haspel will likely need the backing of at least one Democrat.
“If this president asks you to do something morally objectionable, what will you do,” asked Sen. Mark Warner, D-VI.
“My moral compass is strong,” replied Haspel. “I would not allow the CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal.”
If Haspel is confirmed, she’ll become the first woman to lead the CIA in its history.