FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Caroline Tabler<mailto:[email protected]> or James Arnold<mailto:[email protected]> (202) 224-2353 May 9 2018
ICYMI: Cotton Talks Haspel on Fox & Friends
Click Here to Watch
In case you missed it — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today spoke with Fox & Friends about Gina Haspel’s appearance before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Click here
Steve Doocy: Republican Senator Tom Cotton sits on the Senate Intel Committee, worked with Haspel during her time as deputy CIA chief, joins us right now from Capitol Hill to weigh in. Good morning to you, Senator.
Senator Cotton: Good morning, Steve.
Steve Doocy: Well, the president, I think it was a day or two ago, tweeted out, “She’s been tough on terrorists.” Isn’t that what we want?
Senator Cotton: Yeah, Steve, if Gina Haspel being tough on terrorists is the worst thing the Democrats have on her, then that’s not much of a case against her. This is a very distinguished career intelligence professional. She spent 33 years in the CIA working against the Soviet Union and now Russia, working against terrorists.
Seventeen years ago, when we faced the worst attack on our soil in American history, she was a mid-career officer, and she put her hand up and said I’m willing to go forward and do the tough jobs. And the agency leadership had the confidence in her integrity and her professionalism to entrust those jobs to her.
Steve Doocy: Right. But, of course, they say, look, she ran a CIA prison for a number of years and that’s very troubling, and she was involved in the enhanced interrogation, which they refer to as torture, but at the time was considered completely legal. What are the Democrats doing with her?
Senator Cotton: Well, Steve, first off, I just say that in those years, 2001 to 2003 Gina was a mid-career intelligence officer. This is the situation we faced: we had just been attacked with 3,000 Americans killed on our soil. The commander-in-chief directed those programs. The attorney general legally approved them. And the Democratic director of the CIA, George Tenet, supported them. He entrusted Gina to help in that effort, and she did her job. She did it well with honor and integrity and professionalism.
Now the Congress has since made a different judgment. Several years ago, we passed a law that would prohibit some of the interrogation techniques that were used in those days. And Gina will say today in her testimony, she said repeatedly, that she will follow the law and she will maintain the highest ethical standards at the CIA.
Ultimately what this comes down to is the Democrats in the Senate simply cannot accept the fact that Donald Trump is the president because Obama-era intelligence officials like John Brennan and Jim Clapper and Leon Panetta and Michael Morell all support Gina Haspel’s nomination.
Steve Doocy: And the main reason you say she is getting opposition on Capitol Hill from Democrats is simply because Donald Trump nominated her?
Senator Cotton: I don’t see how else you could explain it, Steve. I mean, when John Brennan and Jim Clapper, the director of the CIA and director of national intelligence for Barack Obama, don’t just support Gina, but actively and openly advocate for her, on what possible grounds are the Senate Democrats opposing her, other than the fact that Donald Trump nominated her?
Steve Doocy: Excellent question. Just nod your head one way or another, will she be approved by the Senate?
Senator Cotton: She’ll get a bipartisan vote on the Senate Intelligence Committee. She’ll have a bipartisan vote in the Senate. She will be the next CIA director.
Steve Doocy: All right, that’s good to know. Now we know. Tom Cotton, senator from the great state of Arkansas.