NBC's Bash: Haspel Not Withdrawing Nomination as CIA Director

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel

Haspel reportedly told the White House she would step aside to avoid a Senate Intelligence Committee's confirmation hearing that could damage the CIA reputation. She then indicated that she wanted to withdraw, fearing unfair attacks on her reputation, and wanting to avoid doing any damage to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Others, on the contrary, sincerely wished Haspel to go ahead in the hope that the confirmation hearing will hold her accountable for any alleged misdeeds. "When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why she is so admired and why she is and will be a great leader for this agency", CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said in a statement Sunday.

Only on Saturday afternoon was the White House assured she would not withdraw, the Post quoted the officials as saying. While answering mock questions from Congress, White House officials learned new information and became "concerned".

Since May 3, the White House has been releasing many positive testimonials of Haspel, according to CBS News.

Haspel, one particular official stated, was wary of putting up with exactly the very same destiny as neglected veterans events nominee Ronny Jackson and of dredging up the CIA's distressed ago. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not comment on Haspel's offer to withdraw but described her as "the best of the best" and a "patriot", the report said.

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A career veteran of the agency, Ms. Haspel told White House officials that she was anxious less about her own reputation than about the potential damage to the C.I.A. from a bruising confirmation battle.

Many details of Haspel's work remain classified.

The official who conducted the review, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, told CNN that Haspel had merely drafted a cable under instruction from her boss, former clandestine chief Jose Rodriguez, "that he sent, under his name and authority, ordering that the tapes be destroyed".

Raj Shah, the White House principal deputy press secretary, said in a statement Sunday, "Acting Director (Gina) Haspel is a highly qualified nominee who has dedicated over three decades of service to her country". The 33-year-old veteran of the force served most of her career nearly entirely undercover and much of her record is classified. Haspel was in charge when terrorism suspects, including Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, were waterboarded at the Thailand detention center, noted Vox.

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