President Donald Trump praised newly minted CIA Director Gina Haspel during her swearing-in ceremony on Monday, saying she will "thrive" in her new role.
"It is a true honor to stand here today before the most elite intelligence professionals on the planet Earth," Trump told the audience in his remarks at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Several senior Trump administration officials also attended the ceremony, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen.
"There's no one in this country better qualified for this extraordinary office than you," Trump told Haspel. "I know that you will thrive as the agency's director and help keep our country safe and strong and proud and free."
"You live the CIA, you breathe the CIA, and now, you will lead the CIA. Congratulations," Trump told Haspel, drawing loud applause.
"Alright, that means we're keeping her, right?" Trump joked. "That's what we were waiting for. They love you. They respect you."
The president recounted Hapsel's childhood, which began in Ashland, Kentucky and took her abroad as her father served in the U.S. Air Force.
"From a young age she was instilled with a deep love of our country combined with a thirst for adventure," Trump said. "That led her to the CIA."
Trump touted Haspel's work on terrorism and her career accomplishments, including earning the George H.W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism.
Haspel, the first woman ever to lead the CIA, has also been awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Presidential Rank Award.