'US President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Gina Haspel, is projected to secure enough votes to win Senate confirmation after two senior Democratic senators expressed support for the nominee.
Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Heidi Heitkamp announced on Tuesday that they would vote for Haspel to be the next CIA director, who has so far won "yes" votes from 10 of the committee's 15 members.
"Over the last year I've had the opportunity to work with Ms. Haspel in her role as Deputy Director, and I have always found her to be professional and forthright with the Intelligence Committee," said Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral -- like a return to torture," he added.
Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, also released a statement moments after Warner announced his position and backed Haspel.
"After meeting her and talking with former leaders in our intelligence community, I have concluded that Gina Haspel meets these standards. I am therefore planning to vote to confirm her as Director of CIA," Heitkamp said in her statement.
"But this was not an easy decision. Ms. Haspel's involvement in torture is deeply troubling…However, Ms. Haspel explained to me that the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and has assured me that it will not do so in the future," she added.'
Read more: Trump's CIA torture pick likely endorsed after two key Democrat votes
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25 January 2019
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