Sen. Feinstein Denies She’s Playing Politics With CIA Director Nominee

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended her lingering doubts Sunday about confirming Gina Haspel as the next director of the CIA, saying it’s not politically-motivated but “due diligence.”

The senior California senator is in the political fight of her career from leftist Democratic challenger Kevin de León, who has called for a no vote on Haspel’s nomination.


“I am of the opinion that putting somebody right now at the head of the CIA who played a role in, let’s say, torture is not necessarily appropriate,” Feinstein told the host. “I have met with Gina Haspel. I know her somewhat. I know that she is talented, but I also know that she was fully supportive of the program that many of us are very critical of.”

Feinstein called Haspel a “good deputy director” of the CIA when she was first asked about Haspel’s nomination and she would be the first woman ever appointed as the agency’s director.

“There are those who are questioning whether it’s possible for you personally to be supportive of her, given the pressures you are feeling from progressives back in your home state of California right now, that you just can’t afford to support any Trump nominee,” “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan asked. “Can you explain how you’re weighing those things?”

Feinstein insisted “that isn’t correct. “Obviously, that’s your interpretation of it, and you’re welcome to that interpretation.

“I care about who is head of the CIA, and I’m going to do my due diligence, have a chance to ask her questions in the public arena and we’ll do just that, and then we’ll make up my mind whether I believe she’s an appropriate person to head this agency,” Feinstein said.

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