Sen. John McCain and President-elect Donald Trump will be at loggerheads on one issue involving the treatment of prisoners of war: Unlike Trump, McCain is a strong detractor in the use of waterboarding.
And the Arizona Republican made it clear Saturday that no matter how much Trump wants to see a return to the use of enhanced interrogation methods, he’s not going to get it.
“I don’t give a damn what the President of the United States wants to do or anybody else wants to do,” McCain said at the Halifax International Security Forum. “We will not waterboard. We will not torture.”
McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was himself tortured while a prisoner of war when he was captured by the North Vietnamese after his plane was shot down.
Enhanced interrogation methods, including waterboarding, was used during the George W. Bush administration after the 9/11 terrorist attack, and arguably led to the discovery of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden‘s whereabouts.
The use of waterboarding was discontinued when Barack Obama became president, and President-elect Donald Trump has called for its return despite CIA Director John Brennan’s statement that he would refuse to carry out the practice.
“We have a huge problem with ISIS, which we can’t beat, and the reason we can’t beat them is we won’t use strong tactics,” Trump said, before addressing Brennan’s statement. “So I think his comments are ridiculous.”
“Can you imagine these ISIS guys sitting around eating and talking about how our country won’t waterboard after they’ve chopped off 50 heads?” he asked the “Fox & Friends” crew. “We can’t waterboard and we can’t do anything.”
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