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Rand Paul calls Gina Haspel "head cheerleader for waterboarding"

Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul will try to stop the Senate confirmation of President Trump's nominees for secretary of state and CIA director. "I'm going to do everything I can to block them," he told reporters Wednesday, a day after their appointments were announced by President Trump.

He expressed alarm about the nomination of Gina Haspel, who would be the first woman CIA director in history. She ran CIA "black site" prison where high-value detainees were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, like waterboarding, and was also reportedly involved in an order to destroy tapes made of waterboarding sessions. 

"To really appoint the head cheerleader for waterboarding to be head of the CIA? How can you trust somebody who did that to be in charge of the CIA," Paul wondered, adding, "To read of her glee during the waterboarding is just absolutely appalling."

Paul was referring to an account of a waterboarding session with suspected al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah, who was subjected to so-called enhanced interrogation techniques now widely considered to be torture. A book written by one of the CIA interrogators and cited by ProPublica says Haspel addressed Zubaydah directly one session and mocked him. "Good job! I like the way you're drooling," she reportedly told him. "It adds to the realism. I'm almost buying it. You wouldn't think a grown man would do that." 

"When you read that sort of the joyful gleeful at someone who is being tortured," Paul said, "I find it just amazing that anyone would consider having this woman at the head of the CIA."

CBS News' Alan He contributed to this report.

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