Haspel appreciates McCain’s ‘thoughtfulness’ after he opposes her nomination
© Greg Nash

Gina Haspel thanked Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhy did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? If you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday for his "thoughtfulness" after he advised his Senate colleagues to vote against her nomination to be CIA director. 

“I have the utmost respect for Senator McCain and I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which he has approached this nomination process," Haspel said in a statement Thursday. 

McCain stated that "her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying," following a tense confirmation hearing on Wednesday where senators pried into her past CIA work on an enhanced interrogation program. 

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His rebuke of Haspel did not seem to have swayed his GOP colleagues' votes on Thursday, however. 

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig Shelby20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall Conservatives urge Trump to stick with Moore for Fed Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field MORE (R-Ala.) told The Hill: "McCain is not always right and never has been."

During the contentious hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel dodged questions on whether the interrogation programs used by the CIA were "immoral," but told senators that she would not allow the CIA to reimplement such techniques even if ordered to do so by the president. 

McCain spent over five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he was subjected to torture.

McCain is not expected to make it to the vote on Haspel's confirmation, and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen MORE (R-Ky.) plans to oppose her. As a result, Haspel needs at least one Democratic vote to win confirmation.