Media

Fox Business host apologizes after analyst says torture ‘worked on’ McCain

Camille Fine

Fox Business Network host Charles Payne apologized on Thursday, after an analyst who appeared on his show said that torture “worked on” Sen. John McCain (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 Trump’s pick to lead the CIA. 

{mosads}

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 Mattis has argued the contrary and remains firmly against the practice.

Tags CIA Donald Trump Enhanced interrogation James Mattis John McCain Torture

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video