BREAKING NEWS : Tornado warning issued for parts of Allen, Whitley and Huntington counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigate shooting on Sherman Boulevard Full Story
SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Top Senate intelligence Democrat to vote for Trump's CIA chief nominee

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Mark Warner said Tuesday they will vote for ...

Posted: May 15, 2018 10:56 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 10:56 PM

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Mark Warner said Tuesday they will vote for Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director, all but ensuring President Donald Trump's pick to lead the agency will have enough votes to win Senate confirmation.

Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said he was supporting her nomination in what he described as a "difficult decision."

"Over the last year I've had the opportunity to work with Ms. Haspel in her role as Deputy Director, and I have always found her to be professional and forthright with the Intelligence Committee," Warner said. "Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral -- like a return to torture."

Moments after Warner announced his position, Heitkamp also released a statement backing Haspel.

"After meeting her and talking with former leaders in our intelligence community, I have concluded that Gina Haspel meets these standards. I am therefore planning to vote to confirm her as Director of CIA," Heitkamp said in her statement. "But this was not an easy decision. Ms. Haspel's involvement in torture is deeply troubling, as my friend and colleague, John McCain, so eloquently reminded us. However, Ms. Haspel explained to me that the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and has assured me that it will not do so in the future."

Warner and Heitkamp are now the third and fourth Democrat to support Haspel's confirmation, while two Republicans have said they will oppose her. With a 51-49 Republican majority -- and one of the GOP no votes, Sen. John McCain, out of Washington battling cancer -- additional Republicans would have to join McCain in opposing Haspel for her confirmation to be in jeopardy.

Warner's decision comes ahead of a Wednesday committee vote on her nomination, which would likely tee up a final confirmation vote in the Senate next week. Warner and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin are two Democrats on the committee who are supporting Haspel, and that vote is not in doubt.

Warner announced his backing of Haspel Tuesday after she sent the Virginia Democrat a letter stating the CIA should not have conducted the George W. Bush administration interrogation and detention program.

"While I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world," Haspel wrote in the letter, which was obtained by CNN.

Haspel's confirmation has faced sharp criticism over her supervision of a CIA black site in Thailand where detainees were waterboarded, as well as her role in the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes.

Warner appeared frustrated with Haspel's answers at her confirmation hearing last week, repeatedly asking whether she believed the interrogation program, which critics say amounted to torture, was immoral. Haspel said in the letter that the CIA was not prepared to run an interrogation program and she would not allow the agency to restart one, though she did not weigh in on whether the program itself was immoral.

In his statement, Warner there were "valid questions that have been raised regarding the Acting Director's record, and I have been frank with Ms. Haspel that I wish she had been more open with the American public during this process."

"However, in both our one-on-one meetings and in classified session before the Committee, I found Acting Director Haspel to be more forthcoming regarding her views on the interrogation program," he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Storms Monday Night
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events