Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to become the next CIA director, asked to have her nomination withdrawn on Friday over concerns her role in the interrogation of terrorist suspects could prevent her confirmation by the Senate, reports the Washington Post.
According to the report, “Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing” scheduled for Wednesday.
Haspel has come under criticism over her involvement in the CIA’s used of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — which included waterboarding.
The report notes that White House insiders say Haspel’s request caught Trump aides Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sander by surprise and that they rushed to meet with her later in the day at her office at CIA headquarters.
The report notes that White House officials are unsure whether she will formally withdraw, but that President Donald Trump, alerted to her reservations, has urged her to remain as the nominee.