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The Senate voted to confirm Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, making its President Biden the first Cabinet-level official to receive Senate confirmation. The vote was 84-10.
His confirmation comes after Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Briefly delayed the process, requesting a written response to a question from him during his confirmation hearing a day earlier.
“I don’t object anymore,” Cotton said Wednesday night, noting that Haines had given him an answer.
In her open session yesterday, she gave a response in response to Sen. [Ron] Wyden who suggested the intelligence community might reopen investigations into the 2001-2006 detention interrogation programs, “Cotton said.” She has made it clear in private that she has no intention of opening these investigations and exposing CIA operatives to criminal prosecution, or unfavorable employment action, or even to withhold her. against them in the context of any promotions or future placements. “
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Had tweeted earlier Wednesday that he was not attending Biden’s inauguration to work to expedite a vote on Haines’ nomination.
“It is important that we do this as soon as possible,” he wrote.
Haines’ confirmation precludes a situation where Biden would begin his presidency without any member of his national security team firmly in place, as is customary.
During his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Haines began his opening statement with tacit criticism of President Trump.
“When it comes to intelligence, there is just no room for politics, ever,” she said.
She pledged to declassify an intelligence report into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pledged an “aggressive response” to China to counter its “illegal and unjust practices.”
Haines, 51, was previously deputy national security adviser. She was also deputy senior adviser to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2007-2008 when Biden was chairman.
In 2013, President Barack Obama appointed his deputy director of the CIA, the first woman to hold the post.
She makes history once again as the first woman to hold the top position in U.S. intelligence.
When Biden announced Haines in November as her choice to lead the intelligence community, she vowed to “speak the truth to power.”
“I have worked for you for a long time and I accept this appointment knowing that you would never want me to do otherwise and that you appreciate the point of view of the intelligence community,” she said at the time. “And you will do it even when what I have to say may be embarrassing or difficult, and I assure you, there will be times like that.”