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>> And serve with distinction.>> The woman tapped to lead the central intelligence agency sought to withdraw over concerns about her role in a controversial interrogation program. Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday that Haspel, nominated to run the spy service nominated by President Donald Trump, offered to decline the post.
News of her offer was first reported by the Washington Post. Haspel's nomination met opposition for her role in a program in which the CIA detained and interrogated terror suspects in secret prisons overseas. The interrogations employed techniques such as water boarding, which is widely considered a form of torture.
Haspel later drafted a CIA cable, ordering officers to destroy video tapes of such interrogations. She was picked to lead the agency when the last director, Mike Pompeo, was nominated to the role of secretary of state. But sources told Reuters her offer to withdraw from the running was prompted by concern among her supporters that White House staff were getting nervous her nomination was in trouble.
The Washington Post reported Haspel was summoned to the White House on Friday to discuss her history with the covert interrogation program. The newspaper said it was not until Saturday afternoon that the White House learned she would not withdraw. Asked for comment, a White House spokesperson said, Acting Director Haspel is a highly qualified nominee who has dedicated over three decades of service to her country.
She faces a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, if confirmed, she would be the first woman to lead the CIA.