Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 13, 2018) - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on President Trump’s decision to nominate Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to serve as CIA Director. This decision comes after President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to serve as Secretary of State.
“President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA is deeply troubling. Her record makes her unsuitable for a leadership role at the agency, let alone to serve as the director. We should not be asked to confirm a nominee whose background cannot be publicly discussed and who cannot then be held accountable for her actions. The American public deserves to know who its leaders are.
“The President is playing musical chairs with our highest ranking diplomatic and national security officials. The United States faces an increasing number of global threats--including North Korea, Russia, China, Iran, and terrorist organizations across several continents. We need steady leadership now more than ever but the instability and chaos within the Trump Administration only weakens our ability to be a world leader and emboldens our enemies.”
Senator Heinrich has raised concerns with both CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Deputy Director Gina Haspel. Heinrich voted against the confirmation of Pompeo to be CIA Director and joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in calling for the declassification of information related to Haspel's background on torture and human rights.