Sanders on opposition to Haspel but not Brennan: 'It's not just the issue of torture'

Sanders on opposition to Haspel but not Brennan: 'It's not just the issue of torture'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday said he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE’s pick to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, despite his past support for another CIA director nominee with ties to enhanced interrogation.

Sanders was pressed on CNN’s “State of the Union” over his 2013 vote to confirm former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanNew book: Putin tried to reinforce Trump’s belief in a ‘deep state’ undermining him Retired admiral resigned from Pentagon advisory committee after writing open letter to Trump Rand Paul ramps up his alliance with Trump MORE, who, like Haspel, has ties to a George W. Bush-era program that used methods that are now widely considered torture.

“I think Brennan did a good job in his position. I have serious reservations about this nominee, and I will oppose her,” Sanders said.

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“It’s not just the issue of torture,” he continued. “It goes, I think, deeper than that. That is, I think, the foreign policy we have seen from Mr. Trump.”

Brennan worked in the CIA during the George W. Bush administration, and served as CIA director under former President Obama from 2013-2017. Brennan has expressed support for Haspel and praised her credentials.

Haspel’s nomination has faced scrutiny over her role in overseeing the torture program, and the subsequent destruction of tapes documenting interrogations at a CIA black site.

Democrats have widely opposed the pick on those grounds, putting Haspel’s confirmation in shaky territory. 

However, Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE (D-W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE (D-Ind.) have, in recent days, said they will vote for Haspel’s confirmation.