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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.
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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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Protestors Stand Against Derailling Muller’ Probe, Warns Trump

Whitaker appeared on CNN where he said the attorney general has the power to cut Mueller's budget

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Protesters gather in front of the White House in Washington, Nov. 8, 2018, as part of a nationwide "Protect Mueller" campaign.. VOA

Protesters gathered Thursday in cities from New York to California in a warning to the White House and Trump not to derail Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Progressive groups hastily organized the marches after President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday and named Matt Whitaker as his acting replacement. Whitaker will oversee the Mueller investigation.

Whitaker has made it known that he is hostile to the probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians and the president obstructed justice.

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Several hundred demonstrators, some carrying signs of “Trump is not above the law” and “You can’t fire the truth,” gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

“Whitaker must recuse and Congress must act to protect the Mueller investigation,” said an organizer of the march outside the White House.

Other speakers said Trump thought American voices would be silent after the midterm election and accused the president of attacking the rule of law.

The crowd in New York City’s Times Square chanted “Hands off Mueller” and waved various anti-Trump signs.

A man wearing nothing but red, white and blue underpants strummed a guitar and sang pro-Trump songs. He was quickly shouted down and had anti-Trump signs held in front of his face.

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Protesters urging the White House not to impede Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

The organizers of Thursday’s events warned of even more massive street protests if Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the Mueller investigation after Sessions recused himself.

Whitaker has given no signs he plans to step back from the probe, saying he is “committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans.”

But before joining the Justice Department as Sessions’ chief of staff, Whitaker appeared on CNN where he said the attorney general has the power to cut Mueller’s budget and bring the investigation to a halt.

Also Read: Marsy’s Law Gets Passed In 6 U.S. Sates as a Result Of The Midterm Elections

He has also written that he believes the Mueller probe has gone too far and that Trump’s finances should be off limits to the special counsel. (VOA)