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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 SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: 'Principal concern' of Biden appointments should be policy DeVos knocks free college push as 'socialist takeover of higher education' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday said he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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 BrennanOvernight Defense: Lawmakers release compromise defense bill in defiance of Trump veto threat | Senate voting next week on blocking UAE arms sale | Report faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' in military plane crashes Overnight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Biden faces new Iran challenges after nuclear scientist killed 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) ManchinSmall businesses don't need another stimulus — they need customers Congress faces late-year logjam Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms MORE (D-W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty MORE (D-Ind.) have, in recent days, said they will vote for Haspel’s confirmation.