CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelDirector of DHS cyber agency expecting ouster Senior DHS cybersecurity official to step down at end of week Markey reiterates calls for nuclear no-first-use policy amid Pentagon shake-up MORE was reportedly not in attendance for President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden has spoken with some GOP senators, chief of staff says Trump told advisers he could announce 2024 bid shortly after certification of Biden win: report Ivy League cancels winter sports amid US COVID-19 pandemic surge MORE‘s daily in-person intelligence briefing on Friday amid speculation Trump is considering her firing.
Both CNN and NBC News reported that the meeting, organized by Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeTop Republicans signal support for CIA director amid talk of her possible ouster Biden’s hard stand on foreign election interference signals funding fight Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up MORE, excluded Haspel. A senior administration official told CNN that her exclusion was not a good sign for the CIA chief even if her presence is not normally mandatory.
The agency declined to comment to CNN.
The news comes as the Trump administration undergoes a shakeup among its defense and intelligence leadership, with Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperDirector of DHS cyber agency expecting ouster Senior DHS cybersecurity official to step down at end of week Progressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties MORE fired earlier this week and top Pentagon officials since departing. The firing has been seen as the start of top Cabinet changes that also target Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Another Trump cybersecurity official is expecting his ouster as well.
Trump and his allies have long been critical of Haspel, but the president’s frustration with his CIA chief reportedly began to bubble over after Haspel and other intelligence officials opposed Ratcliffe’s decision to declassify documents related to the probe into the origins of the Russia investigation led by U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamEsper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up The biggest election losers: Political media and pollsters Trump remarks put pressure on Barr MORE.
Still, Republicans have come to Haspel’s defense amid speculation that Trump is considering her firing.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), indicated that he did not think Haspel should be fired.
“I believe both of them are good public servants and done a good job for the country,” Cornyn said when asked if Haspel and Wray should stay in place.
In a past statement to The Hill, the CIA declined to comment on the possibility of Haspel being fired.
Source: The Hills