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Kamala Harris says she will vote against Gina Haspel

Sen. Kamala Harris came out against President Donald Trump's pick to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, on Wednesday, telling...

Posted: May 10, 2018 9:27 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018 9:27 AM

Sen. Kamala Harris came out against President Donald Trump's pick to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, on Wednesday, telling CNN's Jake Tapper she plans to vote against the nomination.

"I intend to vote against her as the nominee," the California Democrat said on "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "I will not vote to confirm her as the next director of the CIA."

Harris said her decision to oppose Haspel's nomination is "not about the integrity of the men and women of that agency or its mission" but rather "about whether this particular person should head that agency." The senator said she is concerned that Haspel "is not the best signal to the workforce of that agency, to the American people or to our neighbors around the globe."

Earlier on Wednesday, Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the agency who is currently serving as acting director, vowed not to restart the CIA's controversial detention and interrogation program during a confirmation hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

However, Haspel declined to answer "yes or no" during a tense exchange with Harris when the senator asked whether the use of interrogation tactics that critics say amount to torture was immoral.

"I believe that CIA did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized to use," Haspel said in response to the senator's question.

If Haspel wins confirmation from the Senate, she will be the first woman to lead the CIA.

When Tapper asked Harris about that, the senator said, "It's very important to have women in all these positions, but I'm not going to accept a false choice that you either accept a woman or you accept someone who has not admitted that torture is morally wrong. I think we can have both. There are plenty of qualified women in the CIA whose names should be put forward, for the nomination and for higher positions within the agency."

Haspel did indicate during Wednesday's hearing that she would not carry out an order from the President if she found it to be morally objectionable.

"My moral compass is strong," Haspel said. "I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it."

The Republican National Committee pushed back on Harris' comments Wednesday, taking aim at the senator who is frequently talked about as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

"With an eye to 2020, Kamala Harris never misses an opportunity to grandstand in front of the cameras, even if it's at the expense of a 33-year CIA veteran who has risked her life to protect this country," RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement.

Several Democrats, including Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, have now said they will oppose Haspel's nomination.

At least one Democrat plans to vote for Haspel. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on Wednesday that he will vote for her. In a statement, Manchin called Haspel a "person of great character."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30900

Reported Deaths: 1111
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds249840
DeSoto159416
Madison130034
Jones112449
Neshoba98871
Rankin93412
Harrison91211
Lauderdale90979
Forrest86942
Scott77115
Jackson62216
Copiah60215
Washington5849
Leake57819
Holmes55341
Lee54718
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51518
Yazoo5096
Leflore48751
Grenada4835
Lowndes48313
Lincoln46034
Lamar4587
Pike43112
Monroe40130
Lafayette3914
Sunflower3727
Attala36023
Covington3565
Panola3506
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Simpson3173
Adams31118
Pontotoc2866
Tate28310
Marion28111
Chickasaw27718
Claiborne27410
Noxubee2638
Jasper2626
Winston2616
Pearl River25432
Clay25010
Marshall2323
Smith21811
Clarke20724
Union2079
Coahoma2016
Walthall1995
Kemper17914
Lawrence1772
Yalobusha1707
Carroll16511
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1322
Calhoun1304
Tippah13011
Hancock12813
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George883
Tishomingo801
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn692
Perry664
Stone651
Franklin452
Sharkey370
Benton360
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 43450

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5221152
Montgomery4127103
Mobile4080134
Tuscaloosa228842
Marshall171110
Madison14307
Lee138437
Shelby128423
Morgan11025
Walker93924
Elmore92514
Franklin89514
Dallas8809
Baldwin8649
Etowah73913
DeKalb7195
Butler63328
Chambers62927
Autauga60712
Tallapoosa59169
Russell5520
Unassigned50323
Houston4964
Limestone4950
Lauderdale4906
Lowndes47221
Cullman4524
Pike4295
Colbert3956
St. Clair3822
Coffee3772
Bullock36910
Covington3587
Calhoun3545
Escambia3506
Barbour3492
Hale31121
Talladega3097
Marengo30211
Wilcox2918
Dale2880
Sumter28512
Clarke2746
Jackson2732
Winston2583
Chilton2462
Blount2351
Monroe2352
Pickens2356
Marion22413
Conecuh2097
Randolph2069
Choctaw19512
Macon1949
Bibb1901
Greene1868
Perry1771
Henry1343
Crenshaw1253
Washington1097
Lawrence1080
Cherokee977
Geneva800
Lamar771
Fayette701
Clay652
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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