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WASHINGTON: The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, giving President Joe Biden the first member of his Cabinet and placing the first woman in charge of the nearly two-decade old agency.

Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA and deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, was confirmed with an overwhelming 84-10 vote, signaling a bipartisan desire for confirming Biden’s national security nominees and installing strong leadership after four turbulent years for the intelligence community.

Former President Donald Trump spent much of his presidency criticizing intelligence officials, doubting them and installing loyalist leaders retribution for a probe into his ties to Russia that began before he was elected.

In her confirmation hearing Tuesday, Haines made clear she intends to end the Trump administration’s practice of pressuring officials to shape their analysis to the presidents liking.

When it comes to intelligence, there is simply no place for politics ever, she told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Haines said she sees the job as speaking truth to power and delivering accurate and apolitical intelligence…


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