Sen. John McCain, whose experience as a POW in Vietnam has established him as Congress' moral conscience on torture, asked CIA director nominee Gina Haspel to detail her role in the agency's enhanced interrogation program. Haspel's tenure at the CIA, where she serves as deputy director, has been tied to its history of using enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, on terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In a letter to Haspel, McCain asked for "a detailed account" of her role overseeing the CIA's interrogation programs between 2001 and 2009.
First Lady Melania Trump shared a stage at the State Department with nine women who have battled slavery, stood up against terrorists and investigated sexual abusers. She presented awards to the recipients of the International Women of Courage Awards, saying they "define what it means to be a role model." The first lady spoke of the women's bravery and resilience. In one of the few references to herself, she said that she had focused her efforts as first lady on helping children. "I believe they learn from what they see around them," she said.
The attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels tweeted out a picture of a mysterious DVD along with a suspenseful caption late Thursday. "If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth?" attorney Michael Avenatti wrote along with a photo of the unmarked disc. Avenatti told CNN that the disc contains "evidence" substantiating his client's sexual relationship with Donald Trump. "It's a warning shot to Michael Cohen and anyone else associated with President Trump that they better be very, very careful," Avenatti said, referring to Trump's longtime personal attorney.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is proposing to ban bump stocks, accessories that allow semiautomatic guns to mimic automatic fire. President Trump had ordered Justice to work toward a ban after the Florida high school shooting. Bump stocks were used in last year's Las Vegas massacre. Department officials have said they could not, under existing law, stop the sales of bump stocks and that congressional action is needed. But Sessions said the department had worked around those concerns.
The State Department approved the sale of an estimated $670 million in anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia, just hours after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Pentagon leaders. The proposed package includes up to 6,700 missiles made by Raytheon, as well as spare parts for U.S.-made tanks and helicopters that Saudi Arabia already owns.