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 SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Krystal Ball calls on Sanders to follow Yang's lead on war on drugs Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday said he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it 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 BrennanTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller 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.


“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) ManchinSchumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures O'Rourke: Many Democrats 'complicit' in gun problem The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution MORE (D-W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (D-Ind.) have, in recent days, said they will vote for Haspel’s confirmation.