President Donald Trump’s first week in office has been one long and unpleasant roller coast ride for Americans.
After issuing executive orders to build a “big, beautiful” wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and ban immigrants from Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States, Trump decided to give the nation some more bleak news with his highly anticipated first interview as president.
It appears that Trump might be looking into reviving enhanced interrogation program because “people at the highest level of intelligence” told him torture “absolutely works.”
"When they're shooting, when they're chopping off the heads of our people and other people, when they're chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when Isis is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?" Trump asked ABC News host David Muir. “As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.”
However, he did say he would consult with Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA director Mike Pompeo before taking any step.
“I have a general who I have great respect for, General Mattis, who said — I was a little surprised — who said he's not a believer in torture,” the president continued. “I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group and if they don't want to do it, that's fine. If they do want to do then I will work toward that end. I want to do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally but do I feel it works? Absolutely I feel it works.”
President Trump said he believes torture "absolutely" works https://t.co/VlYQ5cSW4z— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 26, 2017
Trump’s tough-guy stance on torture is not new.
During his divisive presidential campaign, the former reality TV star said he would not only bring back waterboarding but techniques that were “a hell of a lot worse.”
More importantly, the new commander-in-chief’s statement came at a time when a leaked executive order draft has raised concerns about Trump Administration allowing CIA to brutally interrogate terror suspects in secret prisons, aka black sites.
First reported by The New York Times and published in full by The Washington Post, the executive order would not immediately reopen the offshore facilities banned by former President Barack Obama, but clear away some significant obstacles to do so.
Does Trump really want to tell our adversaries that if America does it they also have the right to torture captured American soldiers?— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 25, 2017
Does Donald Trump really want to ignore the advice of U.S. military leaders who vigorously oppose torture? https://t.co/87GH1LkgrG— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 25, 2017
Trump is "surprised" that Mattis isn't a fan of torture but he's "spoken to others" who are "big believers" in torture & tell him it works.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) January 26, 2017
Jan. 25, 2017— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 26, 2017
-Says torture works
-Moves to build U.S. Mexico wall
-Vows voter fraud probe
-Willing to send in Feds to Chicago
If pursued, Trump's views on torture would put him, and our nation, in league with other human rights violators like Putin, Assad, and Kim.— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) January 26, 2017
If Trump brings back torture in the fight against terrorism, what do you think could happen at the local level with our police departments?— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) January 25, 2017
Meanwhile, Arizona Sen. John McCain — a retied Navy captain who was captured and tortured for more than five years in Vietnam — asserted the U.S. would not bring torture back, even if Trump does sign an executive order to allow it.
“The president can sign whatever executive orders he likes,” he said. “But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters