Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came out against Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to be CIA director, on Wednesday after her confirmation hearing in the Senate. McCain said that she failed to address his concerns about her role in an enhanced interrogation program regarded as torture.
In a break with President Trump, McCain urged his Senate colleagues to vote against Haspel, charging that “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”
Haspel cannot afford to lose any additional Republican support. McCain is recovering from surgery related to his brain cancer in Arizona and was not expected to be present when the Senate votes on Haspel’s nomination. With McCain out and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) opposed, Haspel still needs support from at least one Democratic senator as well as every other Republican to be confirmed.
“Like many Americans, I understand the urgency that drove the decision to resort to so-called enhanced interrogation methods after our country was attacked. I know that those who used enhanced interrogation methods and those who approved them wanted to protect Americans from harm. I appreciate their dilemma and the strain of their duty,” McCain said in a statement Wednesday.