US President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has reportedly sought to withdraw over her role in the agency’s torture of detainees.
For years, Gina Haspel had worked as a veteran CIA clandestine service officer, who once also ran a “black site” prison, according to reports.
Haspel was in charge of a CIA prison in Thailand where two suspected al-Qaeda members were waterboarded.
She was summoned to the White House on Friday to discuss her history in the Bush-era torture program that employed harsh techniques, including waterboarding, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
Haspel reportedly told the White House she would step aside to avoid a Senate Intelligence Committee’s confirmation hearing that could damage the CIA reputation.
Trump aides also held hours-long talks with her in the CIA headquarters in Virginia.
On Saturday afternoon, the White House assured that she would not withdraw.