CIA chronicler Tim Weiner on Gina Haspel’s testimony.

Gina Haspel’s Confirmation Hearing Would Have Been Very Different Had McCain Been Present

Gina Haspel’s Confirmation Hearing Would Have Been Very Different Had McCain Been Present

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
May 9 2018 8:09 PM

Some Interrogation

Here are the questions Gina Haspel didn’t answer at her confirmation hearing to lead the CIA.

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CIA director nominee Gina Haspel leaves after the open session of her Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday in Washington.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

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On today’s Gist, Michael Cohen has weaved a tangled web, but the mere fact that it’s confusing doesn’t mean we can assume he’s a criminal.

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Tim Weiner wrote the definitive book on the CIA in 2008 with his Legacy of Ashes. Today, he helps decipher the Senate confirmation testimony of Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to be the next CIA director. Why is the CIA rooting for Haspel? How did she dodge questions about the agency’s torture program? Would the hearing have gone differently if Sen. John McCain had been present?

In the Spiel, why Gina Haspel should not be confirmed.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.