Sen. Joe Donnelly (D., Ind.) released a statement on Saturday that announced his support for President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel.
“I will support Ms. Haspel’s nomination to lead the agency to which she has dedicated her career,” Donnelly’s statement reads.
Donnelly is running for re-election in a state that Trump won by more than 19 points. Mike Braun, Donnelly’s Republican opponent, pressured the incumbent senator to vote for Haspel. Donnelly was one of the first Democrats to announce his support for Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as secretary of state, but he has already voted against seven of Trump’s nominees, according to a tracker kept by the New York Times.
Haspel, who has the support of several intelligence officials from the Obama administration, is facing opposition from Democrats because of her involvement with the CIA’s controversial interrogation program during the early 2000s after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In his statement, Donnelly said he talked to Haspel about her involvement with the interrogation program.
“I had a tough, frank, and extensive discussion with Ms. Haspel on a wide range of topics, including her vision for the agency and how she would approach the job, as well as issues of detention and interrogation,” the statement reads. “I have also reviewed her record and testimony before Congress. I believe that she has learned from the past, and that the CIA under her leadership can help our country confront serious international threats and challenges.”
Donnelly is the second Democrat to come out in favor for Haspel. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) announced his support shortly after Haspel testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Donnelly’s full statement is below.
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) May 12, 2018