Trump defends torture-linked CIA nominee as just 'tough on terror' and a strong woman

  • President Donald Trump swept concerns that his CIA Director nominee, Gina Haspel, had allowed torture under her rule, under the rug by saying she was just "tough on terror."
  • The CIA used waterboarding, a practice that simulates drowning in subjects of questioning, on suspects under Haspel.
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tried to frame Haspel's nomination as a woman's issue, and Trump also mentioned her gender.

President Donald Trump defended Gina Haspel, his nominee to head the CIA after its former leader, Mike Pompeo, was pulled to head the State Department, after she offered to withdraw her nomination amid concerns that she allowed the agency to torture suspects.

The Washington Post first reported that the CIA veteran of 33 years had offered to withdraw her nomination due to concerns over her involvement with the agency's interrogation program. The program included waterboarding, which simulates drowning and is often compared to torture.

Haspel met with the White House to talk about her controversial history on Friday, and said she'd drop out of the running to avoid a possibly harsh Senate confirmation hearing that could damage the CIA's image, according to the Post.

But Trump on Monday was quick to sweep the concerns over torture under the rug and brought up Haspel being female.

"My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists. Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!" Trump tweeted.

The CIA has reportedly used waterboarding on extrajudicial prisoners.

Trump's tweet echoes White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders' tweet over the weekend that also framed Haspel's nomination as a women's issue: "Any Democrat who claims to support women's empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite," Sanders tweeted.

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Craziest Donald Trump Tweets
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
I would like to wish everyone, including all haters and losers (of which, sadly, there are many) a truly happy and enjoyable Memorial Day!
Just made the point at #NCGOPcon that "we have to protect our border & I think everyone here knows, nobody can build a wall like Trump!"
My twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.
China's Communist Party has now publicly praised Obama's reelection. They have never had it so good. Will own America soon.
While Jon Stewart is a joke, not very bright and totally overrated, some losers and haters will miss him & his dumb clown humor. Too bad!
Why is Obama playing basketball today? That is why our country is in trouble!
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.
Remember, I said Derek don't sell your Trump World Tower apartment...its been lucky for you. The day after he sold it, he broke his foot.
I never fall for scams. I am the only person who immediately walked out of my ‘Ali G’ interview
.@cher--I don’t wear a “rug”—it’s mine. And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
.@katyperry is no bargain but I don't like John Mayer--he dates and tells--be careful Katy (just watch!).
.@BetteMidler talks about my hair but I'm not allowed to talk about her ugly face or body --- so I won't. Is this a double standard?
It's Thursday. How much money did Barack Obama waste today on crony green energy projects?
Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!
Hey @realDonaldTrump - In case you're looking for that tweet you deleted .. I got it right here. http://t.co/a6F98q5xGU
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice
Everyone knows I am right that Robert Pattinson should dump Kristen Stewart. In a couple of years, he will thank me. Be smart, Robert.
26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's not your fault
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived
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