Senator Asks CIA Nominee Gina Haspel: ‘Have You Ever Been Alone With the President?’

By CNSNews.com Staff | May 9, 2018 | 12:25 PM EDT

Gina Haspel at her confirmation hearing to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency. (Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) - In her confirmation hearing on Wednesday in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.) asked Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, whether she had ever been alone in a room with Trump.

“You’ve been working with the administration now for fifteen months,” said Reed. “You have had the opportunity to brief the president. Have you ever been alone with the president?”

“Senator,” Haspel responded, “I’m usually there with Senator [Dan] Coats [the Director of National Intelligence], a brilliant analyst who delivers the actual analytic briefing, and usually the national security adviser, the vice president.”

Reed then explained that his question was inspired by fired FBI Director James Comey’s claim that President Trump had asked him in a private meeting for his personal loyalty.

“There have been allegations—Mr. Comey, one—that while he was alone the president asked for a personal pledge of loyalty,” said Reed. “If you were ever approached by the president and asked for a personal pledge of loyalty, what would you respond?”

“Senator, my only loyalty is to the American people and the Constitution of the United States,” Haspel responded. “I am honor bound and will work very hard to deliver to this president and his administration the best performance and intelligence CIA can deliver.”

She further told Reed: “I don’t believe that such a circumstance would ever occur.”

Here is the exchange that took place between Reed and Haspel:

Sen. Jack Reed: You’ve been working with the administration now for fifteen months. You have had the opportunity to brief the president. Have you ever been alone with the president?

Gina Haspel: Senator, I’m usually there with Senator Coats, a brilliant analyst who delivers the actual analytic briefing, and usually the national security adviser, the vice president.

Reed: There have been allegations—Mr. Comey, one—that while he was alone the president asked for a personal pledge of loyalty. If you were ever approached by the president and asked for a personal pledge of loyalty, what would you respond?

Haspel: Senator, my only loyalty is to the American people and the Constitution of the United States. I am honor bound and will work very hard to deliver to this president and his administration the best performance and intelligence CIA can deliver.

Reed: And if you were approached in such a way and such a demand were made of you, would you inform this committee and the Congress that you had been so approached?

Haspel: Senator, I have worked very closely with this president. I don’t believe that such a circumstance would ever occur. CIA has been treated with enormous respect and our expertise is valued for what we bring to the table.

Reed: If it occurred would you inform the committee?

Haspel: Senator, it is a hypothetical. I don’t think it is going to occur. I am very confident about that.

Reed: It does not seem to be a hypothetical. People have alleged that that has happened already.

Haspel: Senator, I don’t know anything about that conversation.

Reed: Okay.

 


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