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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 MORE (R-Ariz.) is taking a veiled shot at Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE over his comments that he would bring back waterboarding and "a lot worse" if he wins the White House.
"It is important to remember the facts: that these forms of torture not only failed their purpose to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies, but compromised our values, stained our national honor and did little practical good," McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, said Monday.
He comments — which he suggested were in response to "loose talk on the campaign trail" — come after Trump said during Saturday's Republican debate that not only would he reinstate waterboarding but that he'd "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
McCain, who was tortured while held in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, suggested that the Republican candidates should remember the fallout from the Bush administration's Abu Ghraib scandal, when human rights groups found that U.S. soldiers were abusing and torturing detainees at the Iraqi prison.
He added that the United States needs a president who knows that "sacrificing our respect for human dignity will make it harder, not easier, to prevail in this war.”
Trump has repeatedly voiced support for waterboarding during the campaign. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE (R-Texas) also said during Saturday's debate that while he doesn't support reinstating the interrogation technique "in any sort of widespread use," he also doesn't consider it to be "torture."
Cruz voted for an amendment from McCain that banned brutal interrogation techniques widely classified as torture, including waterboarding, as part of an annual defense policy bill.
Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook Rubio calls for federal investigation into Amazon employee benefits Senate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September MORE (R-Fla.), who is also running for the GOP nomination, didn't vote on McCain's amendment.