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Gina Haspel is sworn in during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's CIA nominee Gina Haspel, whose highly anticipated confirmation hearing began Wednesday, said that, if confirmed, she will not follow any orders from her superiors that she believes to be immoral, "even if it was technically legal."

Why it matters: This is a primary concern for the Senate Intelligence Committee, given Haspel's record on the agency's prior use of torture . Haspel told the senators: “I support the higher moral standard... I would never, ever, take CIA back to the interrogation program.”

  • Regarding her involvement in the destruction of interrogation tapes: "There was a great deal of concern about the security risks to CIA officers who were depicted on the tapes... Our lawyers were very consistent in saying to us that there was no legal requirement to retain the tapes, [and] no legal impediment to disposing of the tapes."
  • On the interrogation program, Haspel said that she was told interrogation experts designed it, and it was approved by the attorney general and the president.
  • On the issue of waterboarding: Haspel said she doesn't believe Trump would ask her to subject a detainee to that. Remember: Trump said on the campaign trail he would bring back waterboarding.
  • She repeatedly declined to give Sen. Kamala Harris a "yes" or "no" answer on whether she believes the CIA's techniques were immoral.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

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