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 SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday said he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 BrennanThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Dems ask former CIA chief John Brennan for Iran briefing: report Brennan hits Trump for calling Mueller probe a 'coup': These are 'sociopathic ramblings' 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) ManchinLabor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners Labor leader: Trump has stopped erosion of coal jobs Overnight Energy: States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules | Greens seek hearing over proposed rule on energy efficiency tests | Top Dem asks GAO to investigate climate threat MORE (D-W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyObama honors 'American statesman' Richard Lugar Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87 Ralph Reed: Biden is a 'formidable and strong candidate' MORE (D-Ind.) have, in recent days, said they will vote for Haspel’s confirmation.