GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been a supporter of waterboarding (and more) for some time now, but about a few weeks ago he walked back some of his excitement for the practice after he caught some flack for his full-throated endorsement of torture.
On Tuesday’s episode of NBC’s Today Show, Trump returned to his original position and enunciated (once again) his support for waterboarding (and more).
Well, I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do. They have to get the information. I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do.
Matt Lauer: They have in Belgium a guy by the name of Salah Abdeslam in custody now. He’s said to be the man who planned the Paris attacks of November 13th.
He’s in custody. What would you say would be appropriate in terms of what they can do to him at this moment to get any information they can about possible further attacks?
Donald Trump: Well, I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do. They have to get the information. I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do.
Because the laws are so liberal over there, they won’t do that. But they should be able to do whatever they have to do to get him to give the information. The very sad thing is, he was being guarded and protected by people that were a few doors away from where he lived. They were protecting him, and they were guarding him.
It was lucky they were able to find him. He was planning another attack. But they didn’t find him because people turned him in. Those people were guarding him and protecting him. That’s not supposed to be the way the system works.
Savannah Guthrie: When you say do whatever they have to do, can you be specific? What do you mean by that?
Donald Trump: Well I’m not looking for breaking news on your show, but the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws — or have the laws, waterboarding would be fine. If they want to do — as long as it’s with — because we work within laws. They don’t work within laws. They have no laws. We work within laws. The waterboarding would be fine. If they can expand the laws, I would do more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people, and we have to be smart and be tough. We can’t be soft and weak, which is what we are right now. When I say we, I’m talking about other countries, also.
Savannah Guthrie: If you talk to experts who do the interrogations, you often find a division. some people think that kind of harsh interrogation technique works and will deliver you the information, and others say it doesn’t work. You’ll get false information. Are you in the camp that harsh interrogation, let’s use the word, torture, works in a case like this?
Donald Trump: Yes, I am. I am in that camp. I don’t believe the other people. I’m in that camp, absolutely. They’ll read him his rights. He’ll sit there with a good lawyer. The lawyer won’t give — ten years will go by. By the time it goes by, he won’t know anything because the world will have moved on to a worse place. I am in the camp where you have to get the information, and you have to get it rapidly.
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