CIA staff made a 'suicide pact' to resign if Trump fired director Gina Haspel, former aide says
- CIA staff pledged to quit if Donald Trump fired its director, Alyssa Farah Griffin said.
- She spoke about the "suicide pact" in testimony to the January 6 committee.
CIA staff had a "suicide pact" to resign if Donald Trump fired director Gina Haspel, a former aide to the president told the House's January 6 select committee.
Alyssa Farah Griffin said that the threat of a mass walkout stopped Trump from replacing Haspel with supporter Kash Patel, according to transcripts released by the committee in late December.
"I will share one thing that I cannot confirm myself, but it's worth looking into," said Farah Griffin, a former director of communications at the White House. She gave the testimony in April 2022.
"I have been told that they tried to fire Gina Haspel, the CIA director, and install Kash Patel."
"But Gina, who's a very savvy operator and an incredible public servant, already had what I call a suicide pact in place," she said.
"Basically the entire [intelligence community] would walk with her if that happened, officially, like – or essentially, like, decapitating the entire intelligence community."
Haspel served as a CIA intelligence officer for 33 years before Trump appointed her as director in 2018, making her the first woman to hold that post.
According to Farah Griffin's retelling, the White House went ahead with the firing but backed down almost immediately.
"They were able to stop it," Farah Griffin told the House select committee. "But allegedly, for about 14 minutes, Kash was actually the CIA director."
There is no public record of Haspel being replaced by Patel, even for 14 minutes. Haspel remained in post until President Joe Biden took officer, who replaced her with William Burns, the current director.
The committee published its 845-page January 6 report in December following an 18-month investigation into Trump supporters' attack on the US Capitol.
In its final public hearing, the panel referred Trump to the Department of Justice, recommending on criminal charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to make false statements, obstruction of an official proceeding, and inciting an insurrection.
Elsewhere in her testimony, Farah Griffin said that Trump's compulsive tweeting made her role "pointless" and called her former colleague Kayleigh McEnany "a liar and an opportunist", according to the transcripts released last month.
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