Feb 25, 2016 8:19 PM
First on NH1 News: Hassan definitely says she opposes move to shut Guantanamo Bay prison
NH1 News Political Unit
CONCORD - President Obama's proposal to close the terrorist detention facility at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba doesn't have the support of Gov. Maggie Hassan.
For the first time, Hassan, who's challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte this year instead of running for re-election, said the closure of the facility doesn't serve national security or provide sufficient protection from terrorists who could return to fight U.S. forces.
Hassan made the news Thursday morning in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News.
Asked if she would vote in favor or against the President's proposal, Hassan said "my first priority is the safety and security of our citizens and our country. It's really important that that always be the focus that you evaluate any proposal such as the administration's."
"I am very concerned that the administration's proposal on Guantanamo doesn't further our national security interests. It doesn't, for instance, tell us how we prevent terrorists from returning to the battlefield so I can't support the proposal," Hassan concluded.
Earlier in the week, Hassan said she was skeptical of closing the detention facility. She had been criticized by some Republicans for not making her position clear.
Ayotte's long opposed closing Guantanamo Bay. On Tuesday she co-sponsored a bill to ensure the President seek the approval of Congress before transferring the military base to Cuban control or altering the lease.
Some 800 suspected terrorists have been held at Guantanamo Bay since the U.S. opened the facility in 2002, after the start of the war in Afghanistan. Ninety-one people are currently detailed at the prison.
Obama has long said keeping the facility open is "contrary to our values."