Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is now facing backlash, after members of her own party have jumped on the fact that she made positive remarks about President Trump’s pick for the new CIA director.
Feinstein, 84, who is up for reelection this year, described Gina Haspel as a “good deputy director” at the CIA and seemed inclined to vote for her.
“I have spent some time with her. We’ve had dinner together. We have talked. Everything I know is she has been a good deputy director. … I think hopefully the entire organization learned something from the so-called enhanced interrogation program,” she said.
The Hill reported: Progressives, including Feinstein’s top Democratic challenger, seized on the remarks as the latest sign that the decades-long lawmaker is out of touch with a party that is moving increasingly to the left.
Kevin De León, Feinstein’s rival, was quick to note that if he were in the Senate he would oppose Haspel’s nomination. He argued Feinstein should be “a leading voice rallying all Democrats against this nomination.”
“Having released a torture report, Feinstein knows better than most how morally and legally wrong torture is. This should be an easy call,” he said.
Feinstein and de León are battling it out ahead of a June primary that has captured national attention.
Though Feinstein continues to have a sizable lead in the polls, she failed to garner the 60 percent required to secure the California Democratic Party’s endorsement during last month’s caucus.
The Hill noted that outside groups are also now going after Feinstein, pressuring her to reject Haspel’s nomination, including liberal groups such as the Center for American Progress and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Faiz Shakir, the American Civil Liberties Union’s national political director, warned that his group is willing to target California voters with an “educational campaign” if Feinstein doesn’t speak out against Haspel.