President Trump’s pick for CIA director Gina Haspel received some help from a few Senate Democrats on Thursday, who are desperately trying to hold onto their seats in red states during the 2018 midterms, when several of them voted in favor of confirming her during the Senate’s vote.
The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm her, making her the first female CIA Director to ever lead the intelligence agency.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) were the only Republicans to vote against Haspel, while Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) did not show up to vote as he continues to fight cancer.
On the Democratic side, Sens. Mark Warner (VA), Joe Manchin (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), Bill Nelson (FL), and Jeanne Shaheen (NH) all crossed over and voted to confirm Haspel.
Two Republicans voted no on Haspel's confirmation and six Democrats voted yes.
Four of the six Democrats are up for reelection in states which voted for President Trump in 2016.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) May 17, 2018
News organizations like the Associated Press and The Washington Post editorialized the news by noting she was confirmed “despite” scrutiny over her role in the CIA’s interrogation program.
Gina Haspel is confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of role in interrogation program. She's the first woman to lead the agency. https://t.co/i9TW28JNxC
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 17, 2018
BREAKING: Senate confirms Gina Haspel as 1st female CIA director despite questions about her role in harsh interrogation program.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 17, 2018
Early reports that Haspel oversaw the CIA’s interrogation program were debunked when the George Soros-funded group, ProPublica, retracted their report that claimed she ran an enhanced interrogation program.