‘Fox & Friends’ host: Trump CIA nominee should be ‘proud’ of enhanced interrogation
“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade defended President Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA over concerns about her role in enhanced interrogation techniques that are now widely regarded as torture, saying she should be “proud” of her work.
The Fox News morning show was discussing a Washington Post report that the nominee, Gina Haspel, had offered to pull her name from consideration over concerns in Congress about her involvement in the George W. Bush-era interrogation program.
“It’s all going to be about what happened regarding the waterboarding,” co-host Steve Doocy said of Haspel’s upcoming confirmation hearing on Wednesday. “Just keep in mind, whatever she did when she was in power at that point, she was doing it as a directive and it was all within the law.”
Kilmeade then launched into a defense of Haspel’s record, saying she should “just explain what she was doing” when she testifies.
“And I believe she should double down and say, ‘I’m proud of what I accomplished, whether it was black sites, enhanced interrogation, and I dare anyone to sit in my shoes and accomplish as much as I’ve done,’” Kilmeade said.
“And she could even, if she wanted to, if they could unclassify everything, tell us everything that you were able to pick up, because in Jose Rodriguez’s book — it’s in Jim Mitchell’s book,” he continued. “All the attacks they were able to stop because of some of the messes they put together. All green-lighted during her 32-year career.”
Haspel has faced intense scrutiny for her role in the interrogation program, particularly her involvement in the destruction of tapes that documented harsh interrogations at a CIA “black site.” Seeking to help her nomination, the CIA declassified a memo that states Haspel was only following orders.
Several Democrats have come out against her nomination, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) previously promised to oppose her.
President Trump defended Haspel in a tweet early Monday, claiming that she “has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists.”
My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists. Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018