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Greg Myre

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel as CIA director, making her the first woman to lead the spy agency, despite the controversy surrounding her role in the waterboarding program.

The Senate vote of 54-45 in favor of Haspel came mostly along party lines. She needed support from several Democratic senators to win confirmation.

The Senate intelligence committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel as CIA director despite the controversy surrounding her role in the agency's waterboarding program.

The full Senate now appears all but certain to confirm Haspel within the next week or so, which would make her the first woman to lead the CIA.

Her confirmation also would complete President Trump's recent shakeup of his national security and foreign policy teams.

The nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, said in a letter that the spy agency should not have undertaken a harsh interrogation campaign, which included waterboarding terrorism suspects, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Shortly after her letter became public Tuesday, three Democratic senators announced their support for Haspel, effectively ensuring that she will be confirmed as the first woman to lead the CIA.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The Pentagon said Thursday that an investigation into the deaths of four American soldiers in Niger last year found "individual, organizational and institutional failures." But it said no sole reason was responsible for the ambush.

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