President Donald J. Trump attended the swearing-in ceremony of CIA Director Gina Haspel on Monday, praising her “skill and devotion” in the department for 30 years.
“Our enemies will take note: Gina is tough and strong, and when it comes to defending America, she will never, ever back down,” he said.
Haspel is the nation’s first female CIA director, as the Senate confirmed her nomination in a 54-45 vote. Six Democratic senators voted in favor of Haspel.
“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.”
Haspel became Trump’s second CIA director after he appointed Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state. Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office at the ceremony, which took place at the agency building in Langley, Virginia.
Trump thanked Haspel for accepting the nomination and praised her willingness to face tough questioning during the Senate hearings.
“There was nobody more qualified than you, and you’re going to do a fantastic job, Gina,” Trump said.
He praised the mission of the CIA, hailing the unnamed heroes memorialized with stars on the Memorial Wall.
“You don’t do it for fame or fortune or glory; you do it for your country,” Trump said. “America is forever grateful.”
Haspel acknowledged the milestone of serving the CIA as the first female director, thanking the many women who served in the agency before her.
“I am deeply indebted to them, and I am extremely proud to follow in their footsteps and to carry on their extraordinary legacy,” she said.
Haspel promised to work for everyone at the agency, calling them “a national treasure.”
“CIA has been more than a career,” she said. “It has been for me, like many of you, a calling.”