Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Democrats are objecting to Gina Haspel as CIA director because of their dislike for President Donald Trump.
Cotton is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. His comments came in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday shortly after the committee began confirmation hearings on Haspel.
"Ultimately what this comes down to is that the Democrats in the Senate simply cannot accept the fact that Donald Trump is the president," Cotton said. "I don't see how else you can explain it."
He noted that her role in enhanced interrogation techniques following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists' attacks was perfectly legal back then.
"This is the situation we faced, we had just been attacked with 3,000 Americans killed on our soil," Cotton said. "The commander in chief directed those programs. The attorney general legally approved them."
He said Haspel is pledging to maintain the "highest ethical standards" at the CIA. And Haspel vowed she would not resort to waterboarding and other harsh techniques she once helped supervise.
Cotton added: "She will get a bipartisan vote out of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She will have a bipartisan vote in the Senate. She will be the next CIA director."
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