White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders came out swinging on Saturday as she addressed Democrats who opposed the would-be first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
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“There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel,” Sanders tweeted.
Her tweet came amid criticism of Haspel's experience overseeing a secret CIA prison that engaged in heavily scrutinized interrogation techniques.
Sanders told Democrats, who typically present themselves as champions of female empowerment, that they were hypocrites if they didn't support Haspel's nomination:
There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 5, 2018
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) similarly harped on how Democratic opposition contradicted their “narrative.”
“Democrats don't want to see Republicans nominating women to such high positions because that defeats their narrative that Republicans don't like women,” he said.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also defended Haspel, saying that it's difficult for people to understand the kind of pressure both she and Haspel were under after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“If you were not in the position of authority on September 11, you have no idea the pressures that we faced to try and make sure that this country wasn't attacked again,” she told “Fox & Friends.”
After President Donald Trump said he would nominate Haspel, some outlets reported that Haspel oversaw the controversial waterboarding of Al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah.
That seemed to stem from a report that ProPublica later corrected, confirming that Haspel didn't actually oversee that interrogation.