U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director nominee Gina Haspel (R) attends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, U.S. May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Haspel offered to withdraw her nomination, two senior administration officials said Sunday, amid concerns that a debate over a harsh interrogation program would tarnish her reputation and that of the CIA.Haspel, who would be the first woman to lead the CIA, is the first career operations officer to be nominated to lead the agency in decades.Haspel, one official said, was wary of suffering the same fate as failed veterans affairs nominee Ronny Jackson and of dredging up the CIA's troubled past.In addition, the CIA has sent materials to the Senate, some classified, that the lawmakers can read to better understand not only her work in the Counterterrorism Center, which oversaw the harsh interrogation program, but also other aspects of her 33-year career, including more than 30 years undercover.Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, Sunday called Haspel a highly qualified nominee.
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