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Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel said outright that CIA should not have used such methods, even if they were deemed legal.

Haspel - who would replace now-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the role - has gotten support from lawmakers on the left.

A redacted executive summary of a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report, which was released in 2014, concluded that waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques were ineffective.

Senators on the intelligence committee grilled Haspel earlier this month regarding her role in the post-9/11 interrogations and the 2005 destruction of video evidence of CIA agents waterboarding terrorist suspects. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel said that the controversial methods that sought to gain information from terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks "did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".

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President Donald Trump's nominee to head the CIA now says the agency's "enhanced interrogation" program was a mistake and that the techniques critics call torture hurt the agency.

Haspel pledged at her confirmation hearing that she would never restart the program, in place in the years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, but did not go as far as saying it should not have been started.

Though Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is urging the Senate to reject Haspel, her confirmation seems likely now that two red-state Democrats have offered their support: Sens. But she added that the interrogation program "ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".

Warner's vote is crucial for Haspel, given that GOP Sen.

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Most Republicans are expected to back her.

McCain is known as a tough wrangler of votes, and his credibility on the issue of torture is widely respected among his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

He also cited the support for Haspel by former CIA directors under the Obama administration, Leon Panetta and John Brennan, and General Michael Hayden, first appointed director of the National Security Agency by Democratic President Bill Clinton and later CIA director under George W. Bush.

"If I can change one person's mind about what torture is and what I would do to protect American freedom, I will do this for years", he said. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. A committee vote is expected Wednesday.

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McCain, who was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War, criticized Haspel on May 9.


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