Trump praises new CIA director

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2018

Notice anything? You are correct: Haspel said nothing about using technology to gather intelligence. She was eventually confirmed by a vote of 54 to 45 last week. Trump noted the milestone in his remarks, adding: "That's big".

Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office at the ceremony, which took place at the agency building in Langley, Virginia.

"Nobody even close", Trump said. "I stand on the shoulders of heroines who never sought public acclaim, but served as inspirations to the generations that came after them".

Haspel called her over 30 decades of service at the agency "more than a career, it's been a calling".

For her to be the first woman to lead the agency, "that's big".

In late 2002, Haspel, then a senior leader at the Counterterrorism Center, managed a secret detention facility in Thailand where two al-Qaeda suspects were waterboarded (one of them before Haspel's arrival).

Haspel said she wants to send more officers into the field, improve foreign language proficiency among the ranks and strengthen the agency's working relationships with intelligence agencies in partner nations. But Leahy said he still questioned her judgment and lamented that she has never publicly condemned torture as "immoral".

The committee voted 10 to 5 to recommend Haspel to the full Senate.

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In a rare quip, Haspel on Monday also acknowledged the difficulty of navigating her own confirmation battle.

On Thursday, six Democratic senators supported her nomination, and two Republicans voted against her - Paul and Arizona Sen.

Haspel, who has spent 33 years with the CIA, pledged to boost foreign language proficiency, strengthen the CIA's partnerships with intelligence agencies in the USA and overseas and deploy more officers to the field. She joked that after living through the rocky nomination and confirmation process, she now knows why.

"I want each of you to know that I took on the position of director because I want to represent you, as well as lead you", she told Central Intelligence Agency employees at the ceremony.

Trump called Haspel a "very special person" and someone who has served the USA with "extraordinary skill" and devotion.

Trump said: "the exceptional men and women of this agency deserve exceptional leadership".

The White House press secretary made the comment in a tweet on Monday morning celebrating Haspel's appointment. "You do a great disservice to our Nation & the Republican Party if you continue to enable Mr. Trump's self-serving actions".

On Sunday, the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicated he could wrap up his investigation by September if Trump were to sit for an interview in July.

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