Gina Haspel offered to withdraw nomination to be Central Intelligence Agency director

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Attorney David Irvine speaks at a meeting of Salt Lake Indivisible a grass-roots bipartisan group organizing against President Donald Trump. The meeting was held at Wasatch Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City Wedne

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"I think everyone around her said, no, you are the right person to do this, the White House bumped her up, and she's going full steam ahead". Haspel's Senate confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday.

After her offer to withdraw, White House aides worked to reassure her that she had the president's support.

Fearing that Wednesday's Senate confirmation hearing could shed unnecessary light on classified torture programs that could potentially amount to war crimes and taint her career and the work of the U.S. intelligence community, Haspel was allegedly ready to throw in the towel, before the White House and the CIA rushed to her aid over the weekend.

President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, is not withdrawing her nomination and believes she has the right "kind of experience the nation needs right now", NBC News national security analyst Jeremy Bash said Sunday on MSNBC. Her nomination would be in jeopardy only if she loses the support of Republicans, who hold a slim 51-49 seat majority in the Senate.

Gina Haspel, quite simply, is one of Trump's most capable and distinguished appointments.

Two sources said Haspel participated in a practice session Friday - called a "murder board" - to prepare for the hearing, a sign the nomination was moving forward. As of Saturday, Haspel has chose to stick with her nomination.

Both Short and Sanders declined to comment to the Post about Haspel's offer to withdraw.

Haspel would be not only the first woman to head the Central Intelligence Agency, but also the first career officer in 52 years to rise through the ranks directly to the director's chair.

Two potential sticking points in Haspel's nomination are her past oversight of a CIA "black site" in Thailand in 2002 and her involvement in the destruction of CIA videotapes showing the waterboarding of terrorism suspects in 2005, although the CIA released an internal review last month absolving Haspel of responsibility.

The decision was made by Jose Rodriguez, the then head of the agency's clandestine service, The Hill reported. She served nearly entirely undercover and much of her record is classified.

Earlier the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also -a bit overzealously- dashed to defend Trump's nominee, facing harsh criticism for playing the feminist and women's empowerment card way too openly.

She won applause inside the CIA and from many career intelligence officials as the first woman to reach the agency's second-highest position.

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