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CIA

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel as CIA director, making her the first woman to lead the spy agency, despite the controversy surrounding her role in the waterboarding program.

The Senate vote of 54-45 in favor of Haspel came mostly along party lines. She needed support from several Democratic senators to win confirmation.

The Senate intelligence committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel as CIA director despite the controversy surrounding her role in the agency's waterboarding program.

The full Senate now appears all but certain to confirm Haspel within the next week or so, which would make her the first woman to lead the CIA.

Her confirmation also would complete President Trump's recent shakeup of his national security and foreign policy teams.

Anticipating tough questions about her role in the controversial post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, Gina Haspel plans to testify at her Senate confirmation hearing for CIA director that she won't re-establish those practices.

Reports that Haspel was assigned to a prison where the CIA had waterboarded prisoners have overshadowed her resume and endangered her confirmation. Her comments to the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday will be her first since President Trump nominated her. The CIA has not discussed her role at the prison.

Gina Haspel's appearance before the Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday promises to be a very unusual confirmation hearing.

Most every nominee for a top government job has a long public record that is open for scrutiny. Not so with Haspel, who would be the first woman to lead the CIA.

Updated at 1:49 p.m. ET Saturday with confirmation from the U.S. official and comments from Sen. Ron Wyden

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET Saturday with comments from Sen. Angus King

The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election specifically to help Donald Trump win the presidency, a U.S. official has confirmed to NPR.