Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has urged the U.S. Senate to reject Gina Haspel’s nomination as director of the CIA through a released statement.
The statement came after Haspel went before the Senate Intelligence Committee for her confirmation hearing. In her testimony, Haspel told lawmakers that she would not restart the agency’s defunct torture program if confirmed to head the CIA, but she repeatedly dodged questions about the morality of the program.
In his statement, McCain said he understood “the urgency that drove the decision” to resort to torture as a method of interrogation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “But as I have argued many times, the methods we employ to keep our nation safe must be as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world.”
He continued: “I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense. However, Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination.”