During an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that aired Thursday night, President Donald Trump insisted that waterboarding is not a big deal and that it is an effective interrogation technique.
“So, waterboarding used to be used because they said it really wasn’t torture,” Trump told Hannity. “It was the one step slightly below torture. That’s why waterboarding…”
Hannity jumped in to say, “That’s why it was legal.”
“I mean, torture is real torture, okay?” Trump continued. “Waterboarding is — I’m sure it’s not pleasant, but waterboarding was just short of torture.”
The President added that he has spoken to people who said “absolutely it works.”
Legal scholars and diplomats largely agree that waterboarding constitutes torture, and a Senate report on the CIA’s use of torture concluded that the techniques were not an effective way to get accurate information from terror suspects.
Trump told ABC News earlier in the week that he believes torture works but that he will leave the decision on whether to bring back torture to Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.