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Waterboarding doesn’t constitute torture, President Trump said Thursday, reiterating his past argument that it is an effective way to gather intelligence.


“I mean, torture is real torture, OK? Waterboarding is — I’m sure it’s not pleasant, but waterboarding was just short of torture,” he said in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “When — you know, all of a sudden, they made it torture.”


“I spoke with people the other day who are in this world that were talking about it. Absolutely, it works. Absolutely,” he said.


{mosads}In an interview with ABC anchor David Muir that aired Wednesday, Trump said he would consider reauthorizing banned interrogation methods, including the use of torture. But, he said, he would only do so with the advice of his national security team.


“If they don’t want to do, that’s fine,” he told Muir. “If they do want to do, then I will work toward that end. I want to do everything within the bounds of what you’re allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.”

But Secretary of Defense James Mattis has denounced the practice. Trump told Hannity that he would respect Mattis’s decision but reiterated that he believed waterboarding is effective.

“Now, General Mattis said that he doesn’t intend to use it,” he said. “I’m with him all the way. Do I believe it works? Yes, I do.”

Tags CIA Donald Trump James Mattis Pentagon Sean Hannity Torture Waterboarding
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