Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Wednesday said that waterboarding is not torture, and he indicated that he would be open to Donald Trump resuming the practice as president.
During an interview on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer asked Cotton if he agrees with Trump’s past statements saying that the United States should use “waterboarding and tougher than waterboarding,” even though many military experts believe the practice is torture.
“Waterboarding isn’t torture. We do waterboarding to our own soldiers in the military,” Cotton replied.
Blitzer noted that the U.S. military uses it for training but no longer uses it for interrogations.
“But, we’ve done it in the past,” Cotton responded. “And radio DJs volunteer for it, so I don’t think something people volunteer for is torture.”
Blitzer then asked Cotton if he accepts waterboarding. Cotton said that Trump would have to make that “tough call” as president.
“If experienced intelligence professionals come to the president of the United States and say, ‘We think this terrorist has critical information and we need to obtain it, and this is the only way we can obtain it,’ that’s a tough call,” Cotton replied. “But the presidency is a tough job, and if you’re not willing to make those tough calls then you shouldn’t seek the office. Donald Trump’s a pretty tough guy, and I think he’s ready to make those tough calls.”
Watch a clip via CNN:
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) November 9, 2016