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Trump Own Nominee For CIA Director Defies Him On Torture

Trump’s own CIA Director nominee says she would not follow any morally objectionable orders from Trump.

Video of Gina Haspel confirmation hearing:

Transcript:

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): But if you’re entrusted with this responsibility, we need — I need to get at least a sense of what your moral code says about those kind of actions. Because there is the potential that this president could ask you to do something he obviously believes in these procedures but even if he asks you to do something that is not directly related to detention and interrogation, but if he asks you to do something that you believe is morally questionable, even if there is a well, see, opinion that gives you a get out of jail free card, what will you do in that action when you are the director of the CIA?

Gina Haspel: Senator, my father’s watching today. He served 33 years in the air force. My parents gave me a very strong moral compass. I support the higher moral standard that this country has decided to hold itself to. I would never ever take CIA back to an interrogation program. First of all, CIA follows the law. We followed the law then. We follow the law today. I support the law. I wouldn’t support a change in the law. But I’ll tell you this. I would not put CIA officers at risk by asking them to undertake risky controversial activity again.

Warner: Ms. Haspel, my question is this. On a going forward basis, if this president asked you to do something that you find morally objectionable, even if there is an OLC opinion, what will you do? Will you carry that out, that order, or not? I mean, we’re entrusting you in a very different position if you’re confirmed. I just need to know what your response to that would be?

Gina Haspel: Senator, my moral compass is strong. 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.

Warner: So you would not follow the order if you felt it was —

Haspel: No. I believe that CIA must undertake activities that are consistent with American values. America is looked at all over the world as an example to everyone else in the world. And we have told that and CIA is included in that.

Nominees with any level of morality don’t last long with Trump

There is no reason to believe that Trump will give Haspel the independence that she needs to do her job, and if she is serious about putting the CIA first, and there is no reason to believe that she is not, her remarks at the confirmation have set her on a collision course with Trump, because it is only a matter of time before Trump will demand that she do so something illegal and immoral, and what that moment occurs, if Gina Haspel is true to her word, she will be resigning.

Trump promised that he would bring back torture. If he tries, and Haspel says no, it will be a predictable chapter in the ugly administration of Donald Trump.

Jason Easley

Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements. Awards and  Professional Memberships Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association

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