Sister of 9/11 Pilot Backs Trump's CIA Pick: If Obama Nominated Her, She'd Be Confirmed Easily
The sister of a pilot killed in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks said Tuesday she believes President Trump's CIA director nominee should be confirmed easily and that partisanship is behind any opposition to Gina Haspel.
"If Barack Obama had nominated her when he was president, she would have sailed through without question," attorney Debra Burlingame said on "Fox & Friends."
Haspel is expected to face tough questions at her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday about her role in enhanced interrogations of terror suspects. 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.
Burlingame wrote in the Wall Street Journal Monday that the Justice Department under Eric Holder attested to the value of the interrogations in a successful terrorism case brought by then-New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara.
“Ms. Haspel has accumulated an exemplary record of achievement in her 33 years with the agency. She answered the call on 9/11. How can Congress expect dedicated CIA officers to protect the country from future attacks, then seek to destroy them politically for doing just that?" Burlingame wrote.
She said the interrogations did not break laws, were authorized by the Justice Department and fully briefed to members of Congress. She said Haspel should not offer an apology if called upon to do so.
"It'll be a dark day if she does that. It will be hard for the people who work for her to hear that. That is demoralizing. That is politicizing what they do," said Burlingame, whose brother Charles "Chic" Burlingame was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.
Burlingame said if Haspel is not approved, it will lead to further "politicization" of the CIA and intelligence agencies, which she sees as a factor in authorities failing to connect the dots before 9/11.
Watch the interview above.