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CIA Director’s Confirmation in Doubt as Sen. McCain Cites “Disturbing” Torture Role

HeadlineMay 11, 2018

Cheney’s comment comes a day after President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, repeatedly refused Wednesday to call the CIA’s post-9/11 treatment of prisoners “torture,” and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. Haspel’s prospects for confirmation remain in doubt, after Republican senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona issued statements opposing her nomination. McCain, who is battling stage IV brain cancer from his home in Arizona, is a former prisoner of war who was tortured by his Vietnamese captors in the 1960s and '70s. On Twitter, he wrote, “[Haspel's] role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” McCain’s opposition set off a backlash among Republicans. This is Fox News military analyst Thomas McInerney, speaking on Fox Business Network Thursday.

Thomas McInerney: “The fact is, is John McCain—it worked on John. That’s why they call him 'Songbird John.' The fact is, is you—those methods can work, and they’re effective, as former Vice President Cheney said.”

Fox News later apologized, saying McInerney—who’s known for his “birther” and anti-Islamic statements—will no longer comment on the network. His comments came as The Hill newspaper reported that Kelly Sadler, a member of the White House communications team, dismissed McCain’s criticism of Gina Haspel, saying, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.” In 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump mocked John McCain, saying, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

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