Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly Backs CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) on Saturday threw his support behind CIA director nominee Gina Haspel, providing the second Democratic vote in her favor and increasing the chances of her confirmation. Donnelly said he’d made his decision after having a “tough, frank, and extensive discussion” with her on Thursday. “I believe that she has learned from the past, and that the CIA under her leadership can help our country confront serious international threats and challenges,” he said in a statement. Donnelly and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV) are the only two Democrats to back Haspel for the job, with most Democrats still unswayed by her promise not to revive a controversial “enhanced interrogation” program she oversaw following 9/11 that involved torture. With Republican senators John McCain (AZ) and Rand Paul (KY) also coming out against Haspel’s nomination, she will need the help of Democrats to secure the minimum 50 votes required.