Last February, as his campaign started to pick up steam, President Donald Trump said this in an interview with David Muir of ABC News: "Not since medieval times have people seen what's going on. I would bring back waterboarding, and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
This week, in an interview with Muir, the president said, "When they're chopping off the heads of our people and other people. When they're chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire."
Did he soften his position with this statement? "I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. And if they don't want to do, that's fine. If they do wanna do, then I will work toward that end. I want to do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally," Trump said. "But do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works."
There's also a draft order created by the Trump administration that asks top national security officers to "recommend to the president whether to reinitiate a program of interrogation of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States and whether such program should include the use of detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency."
During his confirmation hearings, Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions said, "Congress has taken an action now that makes it absolutely improper and illegal to use waterboarding or any other form of torture in the United States by our military and by all our other departments and agencies."
According to President Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the President-elect during a November 2016 meeting that "'I've always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.'"
What do you think? Should the President listen to his advisors or go with his gut? Is waterboarding or other forms of "enhanced interrogation" a reliable means of obtaining life-saving intelligence? Sound off!