COLD FEET

Report: CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel Tried to Withdraw

White House aides reportedly held a dramatic intervention with Gina Haspel on Friday to talk Trump’s CIA director nominee out of withdrawing her nomination amid increasing scrutiny over her role in the agency’s controversial interrogation program. Four senior U.S. officials cited by The Washington Post said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and legislative affairs head Marc Short were among those to rush to Haspel’s Langley office after she told the White House she wanted to step aside. Haspel, who faces some opposition from lawmakers for her role in overseeing a CIA torture program in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, had reportedly announced the news after being summoned to the White House to face questions on her involvement in waterboarding terrorist suspects. She is all but certain to be confronted with similar questions at what is expected to be a grueling confirmation hearing Wednesday. Trump reportedly phoned officials from Dallas to ask them to persuade Haspel not to pull out, however, and by Saturday afternoon, she is said to have promised to continue with her nomination.