Trump nominates first woman to lead CIA


President Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning that he will nominate Gina Haspel to become the new CIA director, replacing Mike Pompeo, who will be nominated as the next Secretary of State.

If confirmed, Haspel would be the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

In a statement, Gina Haspel said she was “humbled” by the opportunity.

“After thirty years as an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has been my honor to serve as its Deputy Director alongside Mike Pompeo for the past year,” Haspel said in a statement Tuesday. “I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

While she has won praise from Washington insiders – including Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, she will likely face questions on the Hill about her connection to sites where waterboarding took place. The controversial practice, which simulates drowning, has been likened to torture but used to extract valuable information from hardened terrorists.

Haspel previously served as Pompeo’s deputy. In stepping in as the CIA's new chief, she becomes the agency's first-ever female director.

In Washington, Haspel has held several top senior leadership positions, including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and deputy director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action.

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