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Senators King and Collins vote to confirm Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines

Both Senators King and Collins confirmed Avril Haines to be the Director of National Intelligence.
Senators King, Collins Vote to Confirm Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence.
Senators King, Collins Vote to Confirm Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence.(Source: Pool/CNN)
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 8:44 PM EST
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WASHINGTON D.C., (WABI) - Senator Susan Collins issued a statement following her vote to confirm Avril Haines to be the Director of National Intelligence.

“U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Intelligence Committee, issued a statement following her vote to confirm Avril Haines to be the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).  Ms. Haines, who is President Biden’s first nominee to be approved by the Senate, was confirmed by a vote of 84-10.

“After consideration of her nomination, I voted for Avril Haines to be the next Director of National Intelligence.  As one of the principal authors of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 that created the DNI position, I care deeply about who serves in this capacity and the critical role the DNI plays in the Intelligence Community.

“Ms. Haines is well-qualified to serve in this position, and I appreciate her pledge during the Intelligence Committee’s hearing to be apolitical and share Intelligence Community views with the President and his staff even when they do not match their policy positions.  I also value her commitment to the IC workforce, with whom she has served before as Deputy Director of CIA.  While I do not agree with all of her policy positions—such as on Iran—I believe she is more than qualified to serve as DNI, and I look forward to working with her to strengthen our national security.”

Yesterday, Senator Collins attended Ms. Haines’ confirmation hearing in-person and asked the nominee to clarify her stances on the Iran nuclear deal and China. Senator Collins also attended a classified in-person only briefing to discuss sensitive national security issues with the nominee.”

King issued the following statement after King voted to confirm Avril Haines to serve as Director of National Intelligence,

“U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voted to confirm Avril Haines to serve as Director of National Intelligence, citing her experience and temperament; the nomination was confirmed by a vote of 84 to 10. Yesterday, Senator King questioned Haines during her nomination hearing and emphasized the importance of providing unbiased, independent intelligence, even if the analysis contradicts the policy preferences of the Biden Administration.

“Now more than ever, America needs a strong, independent Director of National Intelligence who will support the Intelligence Community’s sacred responsibility to seek the truth and speak the truth, regardless of the political implications,” said Senator King. “Based on my conversations with Avril Haines and her testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, I am fully confident she is up to the task. Director Haines is a capable leader with a strong knowledge of the IC, a clear interest in restoring morale to our intelligence workforce, and a firmly-held belief that the role of intelligence is to inform policymakers of facts, not justify previously-held political stances. I’ve been impressed by her qualifications and temperament through every step of this process, and expect that she will serve with distinction in this vital role.

“In the coming days, I hope the Senate will move quickly to confirm President Biden’s nominees in a number of areas, especially in the realm of national security. We are facing too many crises to delay action any further – it’s time to get to work.”

Senator King has long been a strong supporter of an independent, apolitical Intelligence Community. He raised this issue during the nomination of DNI John Ratcliffe, who he voted against confirming in part due to then-Congressman Ratcliffe’s extensive political background. Senator King also expressed his opposition to President Trump’s removal of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, arguing: “When America has more hard thinkers with independent, evidence-based judgment, we are all safer and stronger…When speaking the truth leads to potential retribution, we know less and are at increased risk; the world we live in is darker and more dangerous.”

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