The White House is pulling out all the stops to secure confirmation of Gina Haspel as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
On Wednesday, a top administration official told Newsmax that this week would be pivotal for current CIA Deputy Director Haspel.
Not only will she be testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the official said, but the White House will continue rolling out major endorsements of Haspel from Democrats and Trump critics.
Those endorsements are essential to her confirmation, the official emphasized.
The official cited a recent column by Jeremy Bash, former chief counsel to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee that concluded “Confirming Gina Haspel would send exactly the right signal to the intelligence community and the rest of the country about the importance of professional intelligence and service over self.”
Among those who have already weighed in for the nominee are two past CIA directors who served under President Barack Obama — Leon Panetta and John Brennan — and Mark Morrell, who served as acting CIA director under Obama.
In addition, former National Security Agency head Raymond Clapper — who has recently had some sharp exchanges with the president — says he supports Haspel.
Another frequent Trump critic who backs Haspel for CIA director is retired Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who has been director of both the CIA and NSA.
Another part of the Haspel-for-CIA strategy unveiled by the administration is to declassify certain documents that shed more light on her work overseas. In the 1980s, one of the declassified documents revealed, Haspel was working weekends in an overseas assignment when she received a phone call from Mother Teresa seeking to speak to President Ronald Reagan by telephone.
Haspel connected her to the State Department, which arranged the call, and Mother Theresa later thanked Haspel by inviting her to her orphanage in Calcutta, India.
The administration signaled it will place special emphasis on wooing Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has made it clear he is not impressed with the nominee. The official who spoke to Newsmax pointed out that Haspel is a native of Kentucky and has family in the Bluegrass State, and these facts might win over the skeptical Paul.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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