Feinstein: Trump’s Nominee for CIA Director Was a ‘Good Deputy Director of the CIA’

Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein / Getty Images

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) on Tuesday said that Gina Haspel has been a "good deputy director of the CIA," but said that she would wait until the confirmation hearing to determine whether she will vote for Haspel to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Feinstein blocked Haspel's promotion to acting head of the agency’s clandestine service in 2013 over her involvement in the torture program back during the early 2000's, but she said she wouldn't make a decision on how she would vote until the confirmation hearing, according to the Huffington Post. 

"Well, I have spent some time with her, we’ve had dinner together, we have talked … everything I know is, is that she has been a good deputy director of the CIA," Feinstein said. "I think hopefully the entire organization learned something from the so-called enhanced interrogation program. I think it’s something that can’t be forgotten. And I certainly can never forget it. And I won’t let any director forget it."

Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Pompeo will be replaced by Haspel.

Former Obama administration Director of National Intelligence James Clapper effusively supported Haspel on CNN Tuesday, saying she is a "tremendous" officer.

"I think the world of Gina," Clapper said. "I think she is a tremendous intelligence officer."

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who also served during the Obama administration, praised Haspel and said that she "deserves the chance to take the helm" at the CIA.

"Gina Haspel has a lot of integrity," Brennan said. "She has tried to carry out her duties at the CIA to the best of her ability, even when the CIA was asked to do some very difficult things in very challenging times."

"Gina, again, is a very competent professional who I think deserves the chance to take the helm at the CIA," he added.

Haspel has worked for the CIA since 1985, and if confirmed, she will be the first female CIA Director.