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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) questioned CIA director nominee Gina Haspel's "suitability" to hold such a position on Wednesday.

Harris told Haspel during her Senate confirmation hearing that the selection of the CIA's new leader will be a "signal" to everyone around the world about American values.

She stated that Haspel had not answered if she believed previous interrogation techniques were immoral.

When Haspel did not answer the question multiple times, Harris grilled her further.

"Please answer yes or no. Do you believe in hindsight that those techniques were immoral," she said in the tense exchange. 

"I support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to," Haspel said to Harris.

She repeatedly declined to give the yes-or-no answer sought by the freshman California Democrat, formerly the state's attorney general.

"You have not answered the question, but I'm gonna move on," Harris concluded. 

More than 50 former top national-security and intelligence officials - including vocal Trump critics - have expressed support for Haspel, who would be the first female CIA director.

The proceedings were interrupted multiple times by protesters, including a woman who screamed "bloody Gina!" at the three-decade CIA veteran. 

Haspel later disagreed when asked about a past statement from President Trump in which he said torture works as an interrogation technique.

Some Democrats have said Haspel should be disqualified because of her involvement in what critics consider to be the torture of two terrorism suspects at a covert detention site in Thailand.

They have also said that the CIA hasn't declassified enough information about Haspel's career, making it unclear what kind of CIA director she could be.

Watch the exchange above.


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