Donald Trump has expressed support for his nominee to lead the CIA, who offered to withdraw amid concerns that a debate over the past use of interrogation techniques now classified as torture would tarnish her reputation and that of the agency. On Monday morning, Trump tweeted: “My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists.
“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. Win Gina!”
Two senior administration officials confirmed Haspel’s offer to withdraw. Haspel, one official said, was wary of suffering the same fate as failed veterans affairs nominee Ronny Jackson – an episode which enraged Trump – and of dredging up the CIA’s troubled past. She took over last month as acting CIA director after Mike Pompeo became secretary of state.