White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday celebrated the confirmation of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA with a reminder of how much Democrats who claim to be the chief advocates for women have tried to block their ascent since President Donald Trump took office.
“Historic day for our country: swearing-in ceremony for Gina Haspel, the first woman ever to serve as CIA director. Democrats are losing their war against women in the Trump administration,” she tweeted.
Historic day for our country: swearing-in ceremony for Gina Haspel, the first woman ever to serve as CIA director. Democrats are losing their war against women in the Trump administration.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) May 21, 2018
Earlier in the month, Sanders had called out Democrats who insist the administration should elevate women but never approve of those whom it picks.
“There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite,” she tweeted.
There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) May 5, 2018
During remarks at her swearing-in ceremony Monday, Haspel took note of her historic role as the first female director of the CIA.
Gina Haspel: “Mr. President, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve, to represent the men and women of CIA and to carry out the critical work of helping protect our country, our people and our way of life.” pic.twitter.com/qXfSOjyO3b
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 21, 2018
“I would be remiss if I did not also note the tremendous pride I take in being the first woman to serve as director. I would not be standing before you today if not for the remarkable courage and dedication displayed by generations of [Office of Strategic Services] and agency women in roles both large and small, who challenged stereotypes, broke down barriers and opened doors for the rest of us,” she said, according to White House media pool reports.
“I am deeply indebted to them, and I’m extremely proud to follow in their footsteps and to carry on their extraordinary legacy. I stand on the shoulders of heroines who never sought public acclaim but served as inspirations to the generations that came after them,” she said.
— CNN (@CNN) May 21, 2018
During the ceremony, Trump praised his new CIA director for her perseverance, and for the help she received from those within the CIA while her confirmation was attacked by Senate opponents. Haspel had been criticized for her job as a supervisor at a CIA black site that interrogated terror suspects.
“I just want to thank everybody in this room for doing such an incredible job, and for giving Gina that unbelievable support that she needed. It took courage for her to say ‘yes’ in the face of a lot of very negative politics and what was supposed to be a negative vote. But I’ll tell you, when you testified before the committee, it was over. There was not much they could say. There was nobody more qualified than you. And you are going to do a fantastic job, Gina. Thank you very much. Thank you, Gina,” said Trump.
In citing Haspel’s barrier-breaking appointment, he added, “That’s big. That’s big. That’s big.”
The president also noted that the appointment comes at a difficult time.
“Now Gina will lead this agency into its next great chapter. Gina assumes the role of director at a crucial moment in our history. We are reasserting American strength and American confidence. And, by the way, America is respected again. You see that,” Trump said.
“Instead of apologizing for our nation, we are standing up for our nation, and we are standing up for the men and women who protect our nation. We will be counting on you to confront a wide array of threats we face, and to help usher in a new era of prosperity and of peace,” he said.
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