Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE on Sunday defended his stance on torture, saying the enemies of the U.S. are laughing at it.
"Look, we have an enemy in the Middle East that's chopping off heads and drowning people in massive steel cages, OK?" Trump said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
"We have an enemy that doesn't play by the laws. You could say laws, and they're laughing. They're laughing at us right now. I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete."
Trump said it's hard to beat enemies who have no restrictions, while the U.S. has "massive restrictions."
Trump had previously said the U.S. should use waterboarding and other torture techniques, including authorizing the military to kill the family members of terrorists. But on Friday, Trump said he wouldn't order the military to break international laws.
He told The Wall Street Journal he would "use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies. I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties, and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters."
On Sunday morning, Trump said he wasn't asked previously about violating laws.
"You weren't talking about violating laws," he said.
But he continued to say that when fighting an enemy who "chops off heads," the U.S. needs to be stronger.
"I happen to think that we should use something that's stronger than we have right now. Right now, basically waterboarding is essentially not allowed as I understand it," he said.
At a minimum, he said he wants to allow waterboarding. The U.S. does not use the interrogation method, Trump said, because it is "weak."
"I think we've become very weak and ineffective. I think that's why we're not beating ISIS. It's that mentality," he said.
"When the ISIS people chop off the heads and they then go back to their homes and they talk. And they hear we're talking about waterboarding like it's the worst thing in the world, and they've just drowned 100 people and chopped off 50 heads. They must think we are a little bit on the weak side," he said.
He also denied the argument that if the U.S. employs torture methods, American hostages would be treated even worse. He said America's soldiers are already being killed when they're captured.
"We have to play the game the way they're playing the game. You're not going to win if we're soft and they're — they have no rules," Trump said.
"Now, I want to stay within the laws. I want to do all of that, but I think we have to increase the laws because the laws are not working. Obviously, all you have to do is take a look at what's going on. And they're getting worse. They're chopping, chopping, chopping, and we're worried about waterboarding. I just think it's — I think our priorities are mixed up."