McCain doubles down on waterboarding criticism
© Francis Rivera

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainWhy the GOP cannot sweep its Milo scandal under the rug New York Knicks owner gave 0K to pro-Trump group Hannity apologizes for sharing 'inaccurate' story about McCain MORE (R-Ariz.) doubled down Tuesday on his criticism of Republican presidential candidates who support waterboarding, as the 2016 field battles for a win in the New Hampshire primary.  

"It's been so disappointing to see some presidential candidates engage in loose talk on the campaign trail about reviving waterboarding and other inhumane interrogation techniques. It might be easy to dismiss this rhetoric, but these statement must not go unanswered," McCain said. 
 
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His comments come after he disavowed statements from presidential candidates — including front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence takes victory lap at CPAC: ‘This is our time’ President Trump, immigrants are not 'bad dudes' Zuckerberg group donated to Trump transition MORE — earlier this week. 
 
McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, added that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques is "shameful" and that GOP candidates "are saying they will disregard the law." 
 
The Senate passed an amendment last year by McCain — who was tortured while held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam — that banned brutal interrogation techniques widely classified as torture, including waterboarding, as part of an annual defense policy bill.
 
Trump caused waves during Saturday's debate after he said that he would bring back waterboarding and things "a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
 
Asked about the 2016 field's comments and his stance on waterboarding, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSanders: 'If you don't have the guts to face your constituents,' you shouldn't be in Congress McConnell: Trump's speech should be 'tweet free' Protesters crash McConnell's speech MORE (R-Ky.) reiterated his support for keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba open. 
 
"With regard to the tactics used in interrogation, I think we all know what the law is," he told reporters. "I would certainly favor using every appropriate method of interrogation and put off for quite a while whether or not to seek a conviction because a conviction is pretty easy to get, I would think, in most of these cases."