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Haspel, Trump’s Choice For CIA Director, Withdraws Her Name

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to meet Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.

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Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA, has offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officials raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed, the media reported.

Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the Central Intelligence Agency’s reputation and her own, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

She was summoned to the White House on Friday for a meeting on her history in the CIA’s controversial interrogation programme – which employed techniques such as waterboarding that are widely seen as torture – and signaled that she was going to withdraw her nomination.

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's pick to head the CIA, has offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officials raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed, the media reported.
CIA, USA- wikimedia commons

She then returned to CIA headquarters, informed officials told The Washington Post.

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to meet Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.

Haspel, who serves as the CIA’s deputy director and has spent 33 years in the agency, most of it undercover, faces some opposition in Congress because of her connection to the interrogation programme, which was set up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2002, Haspel oversaw a secret CIA detention facility in Thailand, where one Al Qaeda suspect was waterboarded.

Three years later, Haspel was involved in the CIA’s destruction of nearly 100 videotapes that recorded the detainees’ interrogations, launching an investigation by a special prosecutor who ultimately decided not to bring charges against those involved.

An administration official told The Washington Post that the nomination remains on track.

Also Read: North Korea Accuses US of Pressurising, Says It Will Harm Peace 

“There is a hearing prep session today, courtesy calls with senators Monday and Tuesday, and classified materials will be delivered to Senate security so senators can read the real record instead of relying on gossip and unfounded smears,” the official added.

A CIA spokesperson told CNN on Sunday: “There has been a fascinating phenomenon over the last few weeks. Those who know the true Gina Haspel — who worked with her, who served with her, who helped her confront terrorism, Russia and countless other threats to our nation — they almost uniformly support her.

“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.” (IANS)

 

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Twitter Bans Alex Jones For Violating Its Policy

The hearings came just after President Donald Trump accused Google's search engine of being biased against him.

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., after listening to Facebook and Twitter executives testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on foreign influence operations and their use of social media, Sept. 5, 2018. Twitter said Sept. 6 that it was permanently banning right-wing conspiracy theorist Jones and his "Infowars" show for abusive behavior.. VOA

Twitter has permanently banned far-right media personality Alex Jones for violating its policy against “abusive behavior.”

Jones, who is known as a conspiracy theorist, has about 900,000 followers on Twitter. His Infowars website has hundreds of thousands of followers, as well.

Twitter accused Jones of violating its policy after he was seen on television berating and insulting a CNN reporter waiting to enter congressional hearings on social media policies.

Jones called the reporter a smiling “possum caught doing some really nasty stuff” and also made fun of his clothes.

Twitter
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter had previously suspended Jones’ account, but now he is banned from posting on the social media site.

Jones has yet to comment.

Jones is one of the country’s most controversial media figures, known for saying the President George W. Bush White House was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre a fake. Some of the parents of the murdered children are suing Jones.

Alex Jones
Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. VOA

The congressional hearings were focused on whether such social media sites as Google and Facebook are prepared against fake foreign accounts that may be aimed at influencing U.S. elections.

Also Read: Facebook Removes Alex Jones Page for Hate, Bullying

The hearings came just after President Donald Trump accused Google’s search engine of being biased against him. (VOA)