By Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill–
President Trump praised Gina Haspel, his pick to lead the CIA, on Wednesday following her nearly three-hour Senate confirmation hearing earlier that day.
“Gina Haspel did a spectacular job today. There is nobody even close to run the CIA!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Haspel faced sharp criticism from Democrats in her hearing, including numerous questions over her role in an enhanced interrogation program and her decision in 2005 to destroy tapes documenting interrogations.
Still, Haspel seemed to have no major issues during a largely steady hearing. She promising not to restart interrogation programs if confirmed to lead the agency.
Once again breaking with Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came out against Haspel after the hearing, calling on the Senate to reject her nomination for failing to explain her role in the interrogation program.
McCain is recovering from brain cancer in Arizona and is not expected to be in Washington for Haspel’s confirmation vote. With Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also opposing her nomination, she cannot afford to lose any Republican support.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) became the first red-state Democrat Wednesday to say he would vote for Haspel. She needed to secure approval from at least one Democratic senator to secure the necessary 50 votes, assuming every other GOP senator votes “yes” to confirm her.