President Donald Trump has reaffirmed that his administration considers enhanced interrogation techniques to be on the table in the fight on ISIS, telling ABC’s David Muir that he would rely on the guidance of the U.S. intelligence community on the matter.
“I want to keep our country safe,” Trump said, describing the dire conditions in the Middle East that could necessitate the use of methods like waterboarding against ISIS.
“As far as I’m concerned, we have to fight fire with fire,” Trump added. “Now, with that being said, I’m going with General Mattis, I’m going with my secretary because I think Pompeo’s gonna be phenomenal. I’m gonna go with what they say.”
Neither Mattis nor Pompeo has definitely come out in support of waterboarding; Mattis, in particular, reportedly told the president that he could accomplish more with “a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers” than he could with torture.
Trump continues to believe that waterboarding “works,” but made sure to stress that he would defer to his advisers’ opinion before definitively bringing the method back into rotation.