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Ohio Senators Weigh In On CIA Director Nominee

rob portman sherrod brown
Nick Castele
Sens. Rob Portman (left) and Sherrod Brown speak on a panel in 2016.

President Trump’s nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, answered questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee today.

Democrat Sherrod Brown said he wants to see how Haspel will defend decisions and comments she’s made about her involvement with a post-9-11 interrogation program where the CIA waterboarded prisoners.

"I'm sure there are plenty of qualified candidates out there who have a less controversial record on torture – I'm not sure why the President has nominated her," said Brown.

Republican Senator Rob Portman wants Congress to give Haspel a fair shot at a job he says should be filled before big events, including the President’s upcoming meeting with North Korea.

"My hope is that people will look at her qualifications, and decide on that basis," said Portman. "By the way, she's not a Republican, she's not a Democrat, she's a career CIA person who was undercover a lot. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue."

Haspel, who has worked for the agency for three decades, said during her committee hearing that she would not restore an interrogation program at the CIA.

Haspel is currently acting director for the agency, replacing Mike Pompeo who is now Secretary of State. If confirmed, she will be the first woman in this role.

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Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.