UPDATE | Haspel says she wouldn't restore waterboarding

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators want to know from Gina Haspel what she would do if President Donald Trump ordered her to waterboard a detainee.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine notes the president as a candidate repeatedly expressed his support for waterboarding.

Haspel says during her confirmation hearing she doesn't believe Trump would ask her to do that, but she says the CIA is not the right place to conduct interrogations.

She says, "we don't have interrogators and we don't have interrogation expertise." She says that other agencies have that expertise.

She says Trump has selected her to give him advice and that she would not "under any circumstances" restore an interrogation program at the CIA.

10:43 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next CIA director says the spy agency learned "tough lessons" from its use of harsh detention and interrogation tactics on terror suspects after 9/11.

Gina Haspel says in hindsight it's clear the spy agency was not prepared and did not have the expertise to use techniques like sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which simulates drowning, to get terror suspects to talk.

Haspel is giving her opening remarks at today's confirmation hearing before the Senate intelligence committee.

She says if she's confirmed, she will follow the clear and legal framework the U.S. has since imposed that bans any corrosive tactic not spelled out in the Army Field Manual.

Haspel says when she saw a video of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York, she knew "in my gut" that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was to blame.

She says she got up from her desk on 9/11 and, like many other CIA officers, walked over to the spy agency's Counterterrorism Center to volunteer to help. She says she didn't leave for three years.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.