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Bush Intel Officials Defend Nomination Of Gina Haspel For CIA

Amber Athey White House Correspondent

Former Bush officials Condoleezza Rice and Michael Hayden are defending Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director.

Haspel’s nomination raised controversy because of her involvement in enhanced interrogation techniques after the September 11 attacks, but former colleagues are stepping up to support confirming her to the position.

Hayden, who served as the CIA director under George W. Bush, said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday that Haspel is the “absolute best choice” to lead the CIA.

“I know how…unfairly contentious this has been for Gina,” Hayden said. “She is the absolute best choice to be the director of CIA and when people want to bring up the past I’m happy to re-litigate that if they like, but I want to talk about the present and the future.”

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also went to bat for Haspel during a Tuesday morning interview on “Fox & Friends.”

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“If you were not in a position of authority on September 11 you have no idea the pressures we faced to try and make sure that this country was not attacked again,” Rice said of people questioning Haspel’s involvement in torture. “Walk a mile in our shoes.”

Rice added that she is “offended” that people who were not in leadership on 9/11 want to “second guess” the actions of people who had to make “tough calls.”

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