Gina Haspel, alleged water-boarder, could be the next Central Intelligence Agency director

Gina Haspel, alleged water-boarder, could be the next Central Intelligence Agency director

"If it were my call, I would not discontinue those programs", he told Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. "And I'd go back and study them and learn". Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also announced his support Wednesday.

"I think you will find me to be a typical middle-class American", Haspel told senators. She needs some Democratic support to be confirmed by the Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-to-49 majority, as Sen.

Asked repeatedly whether she believes torture is "immoral", Haspel refused to answer and denied that the CIA's interrogation tactics amounted to torture at all.

Ms Haspel, a 33-year Central Intelligence Agency veteran who oversaw a secret prison in Thailand in 2002 while an Al-Qaeda suspect was waterboarded there, said at the hearing on Wednesday that she and other spies were working within the law.

"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense", he said in a statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump, a staunch supporter of Haspel's, tweeted that she had put on a "spectacular" performance.

Haspel, the CIA's acting director and a career intelligence officer, faced grilling about her role overseeing some CIA operations in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. It was a man; I talked to him this morning. He remains at his home in Arizona as he battles brain cancer, and is not expected to be in Washington for Haspel's confirmation vote.

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On Thursday, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn addressed Mr. McCain's plea but remained firm that she will pass, which he has vowed before.

"Senator, what I believe sitting here today is that I support the higher moral standard we have made a decision to hold ourselves to", Haspel added. The tweet also contained a link to an editorial from a right-leaning publication entitled, "the Conservative Case Against Gina Haspel".

Republican Senator Susan Collins asked Haspel what she would do if Trump gave her a direct order to use waterboarding on a 'high-value terrorism suspect'.

What she would not say, no matter how many ways it was asked, was whether she now thought that program was wrong or regretted her participation in it. Rand Paul of Kentucky, are expected to vote for Haspel.

"In my view - a view shared by all nine former directors and acting directors - the CIA was able to collect valuable intelligence that contributed to the prevention of further terrorist attacks". Though she didn't oppose the interrogation techniques, they were not her call, she claimed.

Warner and other Democrats expressed frustration they have not been given more details of Haspel's long record with the agency, much of which remains classified.