McCain warns Trump on waterboarding

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE (R-Ariz.) pushed back on President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE's past praise for waterboarding Saturday, maintaining that the U.S. wouldn't use it as an interrogation tactic.


"I don't give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do ... we will not waterboard," McCain said at the Halifax International Security Forum, according to reporters.

"I don't give a damn what the President of the United States wants to do... We will not waterboard." - @SenJohnMcCain #HISF2016

— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) November 19, 2016

McCain: "I don’t give a damn what the [POTUS] wants to do, we will not waterboard… we will not torture people… It doesn’t work.” #HISF2016

— Michael Crowley (@michaelcrowley) November 19, 2016

"If they started waterboarding, I swear to you that we'd have them in court in a New York minute," McCain added, according to TalkingPointsMemo.

McCain, who was held prisoner for more than five years during the Vietnam War, has long been a vocal opponent of waterboarding.

Trump expressed support during the campaign for authorizing any means necessary for interrogating terror suspects, including the use of waterboarding, saying in March that “waterboarding would be fine."

McCain criticized Trump for his rhetoric on torture during the campaign. In June, McCain said there was no place for waterboarding in this country, noting it is considered a war crime and is ineffective.

"It's not the United States of America. It's not what we are all about. It's not what we are," McCain said then.

The Bush and Obama administrations instituted bans on the practice.