President Donald Trump doubled down on his embrace of torture on Wednesday, saying that it “absolutely works.”
Trump said that he asked top intelligence officials whether waterboarding and other forms of torture work, and “the answer was yes, absolutely.”
Ultimately, he said he is “going to go with” the opinions of Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo as to whether to reinstate torture.
Asked by interviewer David Muir, “Do you want waterboarding?” he replied: “I don’t want people to chop off the citizens’ or anybody’s heads in the Middle East, OK, because they’re Christian or Muslim or anything else.”
“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,” he added.
In February 2016, Trump also lied and said that “torture works” and that he “would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” He also said on the campaign trail that waterboarding may not be a “tough enough” to confront the threat of Islamic State.