Manchin praises Haspel confirmation; also discusses North Korea

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — United States Senator Joe Manchin discussed the newly confirmed CIA Director and North Korea in an appearance Friday on Morgantown AM.

Senator Manchin cited his time serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee in coming to his decision to support the confirmation of Gina Haspel.

“I just didn’t think there was a better person to step in right now, with the troubles we have and the target that we have on our back as the United States of America, that could protect us better than Gina Haspel,” Manchin said.

A 33-year Clandestine Service veteran, Haspel has had experience in some of the toughest spots in the world, collecting high-value information while remaining professional and compliant with the law and CIA rules, according to Manchin.

“This woman is the real deal,” he said. “She’s the true blue american. She’ll do, and she has done. It makes no difference on her gender. She’s as tough as it comes.”

Haspel is the first woman Director of the CIA.

Along with offering support to Haspel, Manchin provided insight on North Korea leader Kim Jong Un’s next moves as tensions begin to simmer again between the U.S., South Korea, and North Korea.

Manchin criticized Kim Jong Un for his continued use of the threatening tactics that his father used.

“This young man has taken it to a science,” he said. “He accelerated the nuclear threat from that country. That would keep him basically able to get the concessions that he needs.”

Manchin also discussed how Kim Jong Un tends to follow neighboring country, China, when it comes to economic decisions.

“He depends on China,” he said. “Without China he’s in a serious, serious problem with his country and the people in his country.”

With the threat of a trade war on the horizon, Manchin said China remains a key player in this looming crisis. He believes President Trump has made some good points on trade, but also said a trade war is out of the question.

“I think this threat that they call a trade war, we’re not going to have a trade war,” he said. “Nobody wants that. No one can afford it.”

As questions about Kim Jon Un’s next move continue to swirl, Manchin said China’s actions will give everybody greater clarity.

“I think the whole key is watch what China does,” he said. “Just watch China. That’s gives you your key to what’s going on. This guy can’t to it by himself.”