Haspel secures enough Senate support for confirmation as CIA director

 | ELANA SCHOR 05/16/2018 9:39 AM MDT
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Gina Haspel on Tuesday locked in the necessary support to become President Donald Trump's next CIA director, winning over three crucial Democratic senators as she disavowed the spy agency’s past use of brutal interrogation tactics.

Minutes after Haspel secured the backing of the Senate intelligence committee’s top Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia, she received an endorsement from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who faces a difficult reelection in November. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), also battling to keep his seat this fall, followed soon afterward in announcing his support.

The one-two-three punch of Democratic buy-in effectively ensures Haspel’s confirmation as soon as Thursday despite a handful of still-undecided senators in both parties — not to mention a vocal push to defeat her by liberal and civil rights activists.

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