John McCain urges Senate to reject Trump's CIA nominee

John McCain.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is calling on his colleagues in the Senate to reject the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA director.

Haspel has been with the CIA for more than 30 years, and during her Senate testimony on Wednesday, she was asked about the time she spent in 2002 at a "black site" in Thailand, where terrorism suspects were waterboarded and forced to undergo other harsh and legally questionable interrogation methods. She said that under her watch, the CIA "will not restart such a detention and interrogation program," but did not say "yes" or "no" when asked if she thought the practice was immoral.

As a prisoner of war in Vietnam, McCain was tortured, and in a statement Wednesday he said he understands that "those who used enhanced interrogation methods and those who approved them wanted to protect Americans from harm." Furthermore, he said, he believes Haspel is "a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense," but her "role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination." McCain is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, and is at his home in Arizona.

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