Gina Haspel wanted to withdraw nomination to lead CIA

A profile shot of Haspel
Haspel at Mike Pompeo's swearing in as Secretary of State. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee to succeed Mike Pompeo as CIA director, wanted to withdraw her name from consideration amid concerns that her role in enhanced interrogation of suspected terrorists would derail with her confirmation, Axios has confirmed, per a source with direct knowledge. The story was first reported by The Washington Post.

The details: During a West Wing meeting with White House officials on Friday, Haspel indicated that she planned to withdraw to avoid "the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing," per the Post. That prompted press secretary Sarah Sanders and legislative affairs director Marc Short to head to CIA headquarters to convince her to keep her name in consideration.