WASHINGTON (AP) - A
second Democratic senator has announced his support for President Donald
Trump’s CIA nominee.
Joe Donnelly of
Indiana said in a statement Saturday that he made his decision after “a
tough, frank and extensive discussion” with Gina Haspel, the spy agency’s
The other Democrat
who’s come out for Haspel is West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. Both Democrats are
considered to be among the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in the November
So far two
Republicans have announced their opposition to Haspel: Kentucky’s Rand Paul
and Arizona’s John McCain, who’s battling cancer and isn’t expected to be
present for the voting.
pushing for votes by the Senate intelligence committee and the full Senate
before the Senate’s Memorial Day break.
The GOP holds a
51-49 edge, and Vice President Mike Pence can break a possible tie.
Haspel has run into
criticism because she was once involved in the CIA’s harsh interrogation
“I believe that she
has learned from the past, and that the CIA under her leadership can help
our country confront serious international threats and challenges,” Donnelly
said in the statement.
Donnelly came under
attack from Trump at a rally in Indiana on Thursday, two days after the
state’s primary election determined that his Republican opponent in November
will be former Indiana lawmaker Mike Braun.
Trump, who was
joined at the rally by Vice President Mike Pence, a former Indiana governor,
urged GOP voters to mobilize and prevent Democrats from regaining control of
called Donnelly “Sleepin’ Joe” and criticized the senator for opposing his
tax plan and attempt to end the Affordable Care Act. Donnelly responded by
saying “problems only get solved when you roll up your sleeves and put in
the hard work,” and his campaign said he had voted with Trump 62 percent of