Gina Haspel is not the problem; CIA is the problem

CIA's new chief takes oath, vows more spies afield

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has touted the swearing-in of President Donald Trump's Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel as a win for women and Republicans, commenting that Democrats were "losing their war against women".

"Gina is tough, she is strong, and Gina will never, ever back down", Trump said.

During her address, Haspel said the CIA has been a "calling" and thanked the role models and mentors in the agency for paving her way.

Arizona Sen. John McCain was one of Haspel's leading critics, and dozens of retired military leaders urged lawmakers in a letter last month not to approve her appointment.

Trump tapped the 61-year-old Kentucky native to lead the nation's premier intelligence agency after he nominated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.

She joked about her bruising confirmation hearing, which dug into her work overseeing a secret "black site" prison in Thailand.

"That's big", Trump said. This is a woman who has been a leader wherever she has gone.

Haspel said she would lead the agency by promoting greater fluency in foreign languages and deploy more foreign field agents to deal with the strategic threats faced by the United States. She joked that after living through the rocky nomination and confirmation process, she now knows why. In a triad of tweets issued earlier on Monday, the president, quoting conservative Fox News commentator Dan Bongino, said former CIA director John Brennan had "disgraced the country" and "the entire Intelligence Community" by, the tweets said, triggering an ongoing investigation into the president's campaign's connections to Russian Federation.

She also understands too much reliance on technology and not enough on "human assets", as they are called, is a mistake.

On Twitter Monday, Trump referenced comments from conservative commentator Dan Bongino on "Fox and Friends", which argued that Brennan "started this entire debacle".

Trump said: "the exceptional men and women of this agency deserve exceptional leadership".

"If Mr. Trump continues along this disastrous path, you will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy", Brennan wrote in a tweet.

The US Senate confirmed Trump's nomination of Haspel in a 54-45 vote last week.

President Trump on Monday met with top law enforcement and intelligence officials, asking them to turn over to Congress information about the origins of the FBI investigation into his own campaign.

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