Anti-torture protests disrupt Haspel confirmation hearing

Protesters repeatedly disrupted the Senate confirmation hearing for President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE's pick to lead the CIA, with some yelling chants that highlighted Gina Haspel's involvement in the spy agency's controversial interrogation program after 9/11.  

One protester, hours into Haspel's hearing, began yelling, "Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! You are a torturer!"

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTexas Democrat Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson announces retirement at end of term On The Money — IRS chief calls for reinforcements Burr brother-in-law ordered to testify in insider trading probe MORE (R-N.C.), who oversaw the Wednesday hearing, called on the Capitol Police to escort the woman out of the room. The protester continued to shout at Haspel as she was taken out.

Another protester began yelling about waterboarding shortly afterward.

Capitol Police, who went to remove him from the hearing, could be heard yelling at him to “stop resisting.”


Some reporters identified the protester as Ray McGovern, a former CIA officer turned activist.

Burr, in response, threatened to "remove all individuals" from the hearing if "there are any other further disruptions."

Protesters had already caused disruption even before the confirmation hearing kicked off.

A group of Code Pink protesters began chanting to protest Haspel's appointment and were quickly placed under arrest by Capitol Police.

Several had to be forcibly dragged from the room, shouting "Stop the torture!" 

One woman could be heard telling a police officer, "You're hurting me, you're like her, you're a torturer," as he escorted her from the room.

Haspel pledged during the hearing not to bring back the CIA's so-called enhanced interrogation program, addressing early in her Senate confirmation hearing a key point on her record that Democrats and other critics have scrutinized. 

“I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership, on my watch, the CIA will not restart a detention and interrogation program,” Haspel said.

Democrats and other critics have fiercely opposed Haspel's nomination, arguing that her past record should disqualify her from leading the CIA.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWisconsinites need infrastructure that is built to last  Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Rubio: Dropping FARC from terrorist list threatens Colombians, US security MORE offered a response to the protests later in the day in a tweet stating that prisoners in U.S. custody are treated better "than they treated the innocent people they beheaded on video or killed in 9/11 or in some other terror attack."

Updated: 3:13 p.m.