Sen. John Thune: Torture Is Banned As ‘A Matter Of Settled Law’


PHILADELPHIA – President Donald Trump can’t bring back torture even if he wanted to, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told reporters during the Republican retreat Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday on a draft executive order calling for the Trump administration to re-examine opening CIA black sites, reigniting a debate about “enhanced interrogation” techniques used under the Bush administration. Thune said Trump cannot make that call without Congress playing a role.

“Those issues are settled law. Congress has spoken,” Thune said. “When it comes to enhanced interrogation techniques and that sort of things, my understanding is–I haven’t seen the new executive action and what’s being proposed– but my understanding is that they’re going to examine some of those issues, but with regard to torture, that’s banned. The Army Field Manuel makes that very clear.”

Already Wednesday, Sen John McCain(R-AZ), a torture survivor himself, came out vehemently against the draft executive action.

“The law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America,” McCain told the New York Times in a statement.

Thune also suggested that members of Congress had already weighed in.

“We view that to be a matter of settled law,” Thune said. “With regard to how most members of Congress perceive or view that, we’ve spoken on that.”