Fox Business host apologizes after analyst says torture 'worked on' McCain

Fox Business Network host Charles Payne apologized on Thursday, after an analyst who appeared on his show said that torture "worked on" 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.) during his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

"This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment," Payne tweeted. 

"I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged. As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the network’s feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country."

Payne's apology came after Thomas McInerney, a former Fox News military analyst, rebuked McCain, who urged Senate colleagues on Wednesday to reject the nomination of Gina Haspel, President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE's pick to lead the CIA. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Haspel has faced criticism from many lawmakers — mostly Democrats — for her ties to a brutal CIA detention and interrogation program in the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Haspel vowed not to reimplement such interrogation techniques, calling the tactics "immoral."

Payne asked McInerney on Thursday whether Congress should evaluate Haspel on her personal feelings or on her stated commitment to avoiding the use of such interrogation techniques, which have widely been condemned as torture.

"Well, she can't use it [torture] anymore because we have determined in Congress that it's not legal. The fact is, is John McCain, it worked on John. That's why they call him 'Songbird John,'" McInerney said, asserting that such tactics are effective.

As a POW in Vietnam, McCain was brutally tortured ultimately leading him to falsely confess to crimes.

Many military officials and analysts argue that torture is an ineffective means of interrogation because it can drive suspects to offer false confessions or inaccurate information.

Trump has insisted that torture works, though Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThreatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court MORE has argued the contrary and remains firmly against the practice.