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White House Photo Caption omits Husband of Luxembourg’s gay PM Gauthier Destenay

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White House Photo Caption omits Husband of Luxembourg’s gay PM Gauthier Destenay. Twitter
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Washington, May 29, 2017: The White House omitted Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg’s openly gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, from the caption to an official photograph of the spouses of Nato leaders taken at this weeks summit in Brussels.

Destenay, a Belgian architect, married Bettel in 2015, becoming the first same-sex spouse of a leader of a European Union member state, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

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American First Lady Melania Trump was identified twice in the original caption to the official White House photograph, which was taken by Andrea Hanks and posted to Facebook on Saturday in a collection of pictures from Trump’s nine-day international tour.

Destenay’s name later appeared in an edited version of the caption.

(LtoR) First Lady of France Brigitte Macron, First Lady of Turkey Emine Gulbaran Erdogan, First Lady of the US Melania Trump, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Stoltenberg’s partner Ingrid Schulerud, Partner of Bulgaria’s President Desislava Radeva, partner of Charles Michel Amelie Derbaudrenghien, (back row, LtoR) First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, partner of Slovenia’s Prime Minister Mojca Stropnik and First Lady of Iceland Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir pose for a family photo before a diner of the First Ladies and Queen at the Royal castle in Laken/Laeken, on May 25 in Brussels. (AFP Photo)
The original caption read: “First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of Nato leaders: First Lady Emine Erdogan of Turkey; Iceland’s Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir; the First Lady of France Brigitte Trogneux; First Lady Melania Trump; Slovenia’s Mojca Stropnik; Bulgaria’s Desislava Radeva; Belgium’s Amélie Derbaudrenghien, and Norway’s Ingrid Schulerud.”

Destenay, smiling and wearing a dark suit, white shirt and light blue tie, is clearly visible in the picture, behind Melania Trump’s right shoulder, reports the Guardian.

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The “mistake” faced a lot of criticism and backlash on social media.

Scott Bixby of the Daily Beast called the caption “homophobic”.

Destenay and Bettel’s marriage is not the first same-sex union at the highest levels of world politics.

In 2010, Johanna Siguroardottir, then Prime Minister of Iceland, became the first serving leader in the world to marry a same-sex partner. (IANS)

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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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Donald Trump.
To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad. (Wikimedia Commons)

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)