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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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MAY 8, 2018

     Only liberal obstructionists will vote against Haspel. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders forcefully entered the debate over President Donald Trump's choice for CIA director Saturday, tweeting that any Democrat who doesn’t back nominee Gina Haspel is a “total hypocrite.” “There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel,” Sanders tweeted. “Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite.” Beginning Wednesday, Haspel faces a contentious confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, ahead of what the White House acknowledges will likely be a close confirmation vote on the Senate floor.

     Debate over Haspel's nomination is split between those who praise her experience and those who want her disqualified because of her role in the CIA’s harsh interrogation of terror subjects and destruction of videotapes showing waterboarding after 9/11. Also backing Haspel's nomination recently was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during an appearance last week on “Fox and Friends.”

     If Haspel's nomination advances to the Senate, she would need backing from at least 50 senators. In the event of a tie, Vice President Mike Pence -- in his role as president of the Senate -- would cast the deciding vote. With the likely absence of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is battling brain cancer and recuperating in Arizona after recent surgery, Republicans hold a 50-49 advantage in the Senate.

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