After VA Nominee, Cornyn Urges Democrats Not to Play Politics with Haspel

Recently on the Senate floor, I responded to the attacks on the record and service of President Trump’s nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and urged my colleagues to confirm Gina Haspel. Excerpts of my remarks are below, and video can be found here.  

One of the important positions that we are going to be taking up this week is Gina Haspel, who’s been nominated to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and her confirmation hearing will be before the Senate Intelligence Committee this Wednesday. I will proudly support her to be the first female CIA director in our nation's history.

I hope our colleagues and their ideological soulmates across the aisle will cease and desist from untruthful attacks on this talented, well-respected woman who is much revered by her fellow professionals in the intelligence community.

I think it's important for the country's young women to see someone like Ms. Haspel leading an agency as vital to our national security as the CIA. Women everywhere will be watching this week, and Democrats should show them that ambition, good character, and hard work are always welcome and rewarded in the upper echelons of the United States government.

She's received numerous rewards which lend credence to her reputation and illustrate that other accomplished professionals held her in high regard. These awards include the Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in the federal civil service. She's also received the Intelligence Medal of Merit and several others. Her integrity and professionalism are beyond question.

Those who know her best, including high-ranking Obama-era officials, are behind her one hundred percent.

Questions that have been repeated ad nauseam by some about interrogation tactics used in the early days on the War on Terror when our nation was bracing itself for additional mass-casualty terrorist attacks.

The program was investigated twice by career lawyers at the Justice Department, one under President Bush and the other under President Obama. And those career lawyers who have no partisan gain to make one way or the other concluded that both times that criminal charges were not warranted. Furthermore, the Justice Department under President Obama and multiple federal courts have credited the work done overseas and the intelligence gain there as keeping our country safer.

We've seen one Trump nominee get unfairly smeared by half-truths, innuendo, and hearsay. We can't let that happen again. Ms. Haspel didn't ask for this fight. If that's what it takes to get America the best, most qualified person to lead the CIA, we're more than willing to wage and to win that fight for her and the rest of the country.

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