Rep. Brian Mast, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs to an IED explosion while he was deployed in Afghanistan, said Thursday he won't judge CIA director nominee Gina Haspel for her role in the use of enhanced interrogation.
"The reality of the situation is we weren't pillow fighting with the al Qaeda and we weren't pillow fighting with Iran," the Florida Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends."
"They were beheading people and this is very dangerous and deadly work. It takes a very special person to do it. She is that special person...politically motivated senators need to get out of the way."
On Wednesday, Haspel came under fire from opponents in the Senate Intelligence Committee, who questioned her extensively during her confirmation hearings about her past work.
Mast also on Thursday discussed the diplomatic messages President Donald Trump is sending to North Korea and Iran, with his actions this week concerning those countries.
"This is the difference between foreign policy conducted through strength, and foreign policy conducted through recession," he said. "You cannot purchase a dollar for $1.50, any more than you can buy a real friend for a dollar."
He also denied that Iran's decision to launch bomb strikes on Israel in response to Trump pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
"This is something that is related to the Iran deal and its concessions, the fact that the previous administration was allowing for the expansion of Iran throughout the Middle East, through Lebanon, into Syria, and in the other direction into Iraq, allowed them to get on to Israel's borders unchecked," said Mast. "Not just through the auspices of Hezbollah; we're talking about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard being on their borders. These are Iranian forces under the flag of Iran, being there fighting our closest ally."
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Trump to keep the United States' involvement in the nuclear deal, and Mast said such critics don't realize how enemies are battled.
"We don't make peace with current enemies," he said. "We make peace with former enemies. If they're failing to recognize that Iran is still a current enemy they're going to fail in this endeavor."
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