Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp, but what he did not tell us is that he would invite them all into the White House. He does not seem to mind living with his own cabinet menagerie. Now, he has appointed a woman who was in charge of a black ops chamber of horrors, Gina Haspel to be his next CIA director, but she did something that threw him into a rage.
There are many swamp creatures in the president’s cabinet, like EPA Adviser Moroccan Monster Movie Scott Pruitt and Attorney General Alien Jeff Sessions. Then, of course, there was former Secretary of Health and Human Services The Fly Tom Price and Director of the Office of Management and Budget What We Do In The Shadows Mick Mulvaney.
Watch out for Treasury Secretary Killer Loan Shark Stephen Mnuchin and Education Secretary Dreadtime Stories Betsy DeVos. Don’t forget Secretary of Interior Secretary It Came From The Desert Ryan Zinke, and former nominee for Secretary of Veteran Affairs Kingdom Hospital’s Dr. Ronny Jackson, or National Security Adviser War Of The Worlds John Bolton.
The commander-in-chief campaigned on being a tremendous judge of character, that he chose the “best people.” Probably, though, Hapsel’s experience with torture probably caught his attention. He tweeted about Haspel:
‘My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists. Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!’
Senator and former captured fighter pilot John McCain (R-AZ) knows something about torture. He was held captive and tortured for five long years during the Vietnam War, after he was shot down behind enemy lines. In his upcoming memoir, according to NPR, he wrote this about Trump:
‘I’m not sure what to make of President Trump’s convictions. He threatened to deliberately kill the spouses and children of terrorists, implying that an atrocity of that magnitude would show the world America’s toughness.’
Hapsel had her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate, and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) grilled Haspel about torture. The Washington Post carried the full public portion of her hearing.Warner said:
‘But if you’re entrusted with this responsibility, we need — I need to get at least a sense of what your moral code says about those kind of actions. Because there is the potential that this president could ask you to do something he obviously believes in these procedures but even if he asks you to do something that is not directly related to detention and interrogation, but if he asks you to do something that you believe is morally questionable, even if there is a well, see, opinion that gives you a get out of jail free card, what will you do in that action when you are the director of the CIA?’
‘Senator, my father’s watching today. He served 33 years in the air force. My parents gave me a very strong moral compass. I support the higher moral standard that this country has decided to hold itself to. I would never ever take CIA back to an interrogation program. First of all, CIA follows the law. We followed the law then. We follow the law today. I support the law. I wouldn’t support a change in the law. But I’ll tell you this. I would not put CIA officers at risk by asking them to undertake risky controversial activity again.’
Warner tried again to pin her down:
‘Ms. Haspel, my question is this. On a going forward basis, if this president asked you to do something that you find morally objectionable, even if there is an OLC opinion, what will you do? Will you carry that out, that order, or not? I mean, we’re entrusting you in a very different position if you’re confirmed. I just need to know what your response to that would be?’
Then, Haspel began to curve away from Trump’s position:
‘Senator, my moral compass is strong. I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it. No. I believe that CIA must undertake activities that are consistent with American values. America is looked at all over the world as an example to everyone else in the world. And we have told that and CIA is included in that.’
Check out Haspel’s full hearing below:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mandel Ngan.