McCain doubles down on waterboarding criticism

Francis Rivera

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainFULL SPEECH: Tim Kaine accepts Democratic VP nomination Retired admiral: It would be a disaster if Trump were the face of the U.S. Panetta's Trump attack thrown off course 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 TrumpTrump campaign dismisses Dem attacks as ‘night of empty rhetoric’ Obama makes case for Clinton to succeed him FULL SPEECH: President Obama at the Democratic convention 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 McConnellReid: Trump is a 'hateful con man' McAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes Scalise says FCC chair should abandon set-top box plan 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."

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