SPONSORED:

Haspel not in attendance at latest Trump intelligence briefing: reports

Haspel not in attendance at latest Trump intelligence briefing: reports
© Greg Nash

CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Biden announces veteran diplomat William Burns as nominee for CIA director Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE was reportedly not in attendance for President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE's daily in-person intelligence briefing on Friday amid speculation Trump is considering her firing.

Both CNN and NBC News reported that the meeting, organized by Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeFormer Trump officials eye bids for political office Grenell congratulates Buttigieg on becoming second openly gay Cabinet member Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE, excluded Haspel. A senior administration official told CNN that her exclusion was not a good sign for the CIA chief even if her presence is not normally mandatory.

The agency declined to comment to CNN. The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

ADVERTISEMENT

The news comes as the Trump administration undergoes a shakeup among its defense and intelligence leadership, with Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperFemale generals' promotions held back over fears of Trump's response: report Overnight Defense: Army details new hair and grooming standards | DC National Guard chief says Pentagon restricted his authority before riot | Colorado calls on Biden not to move Space Command New Army hair and grooming standards allow for ponytails, buzz cuts and earrings MORE fired earlier this week and top Pentagon officials since departing. The firing has been seen as the start of top Cabinet changes that also target Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Another Trump cybersecurity official is expecting his ouster as well.

Trump and his allies have long been critical of Haspel, but the president's frustration with his CIA chief reportedly began to bubble over after Haspel and other intelligence officials opposed Ratcliffe's decision to declassify documents related to the probe into the origins of the Russia investigation led by U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamBiden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Garland seeks to draw sharp contrast with Trump-era DOJ John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE.

Still, Republicans have come to Haspel's defense amid speculation that Trump is considering her firing.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), indicated that he did not think Haspel should be fired.

"I believe both of them are good public servants and done a good job for the country," Cornyn said when asked if Haspel and Wray should stay in place.

In a past statement to The Hill, the CIA declined to comment on the possibility of Haspel being fired.