Trump, CIA Quarrel Over Torturing Terror Suspects

GOP presidential front-runner dismisses CIA chief's vow that the spy agency wouldn't use enhanced interrogation techniques even if ordered to by a future president.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at an airplane hanger in Rochester, New York April 10, 2016.
Reuters

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday dismissed the CIA director's promise that the spy agency would not waterboard suspects ever again, even if a future president ordered it. 

Speaking to Fox News, Trump said he thinks CIA chief John Brennan's comments are "ridiculous."

"I mean, they chop off heads and they drown people in cages with 50 in cage in big steel, heavy cages, drop ‘em right into the water, drown people and we can’t waterboard and we can’t do anything," Trump said, referring to the Islamic State, according to Politico.

He further asserted that the U.S. can't beat ISIS because it refuses to use "strong tactics."

"We’re playing on different fields, and we have a huge problem with ISIS, which we can’t beat. And the reason we can’t beat them is because we can’t use strong tactics, whether it’s this or other thing," he said. 

"So I think his comments are ridiculous. Can you imagine these ISIS people sitting around, eating and talking about this country won’t allow waterboarding and they just chopped off 50 heads?”

Brennan, the CIA director, told NBC News in an interview released Sunday that his spy agency will not engage in waterboarding or other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques even if ordered to by a future president.

Brennan said that he will not agree to carry out such techniques because "this institution needs to endure."

President Barack Obama banned waterboarding shortly after taking office in 2009.

Republican presidential candidates Trump and Ted Cruz have suggested they would not continue Obama's ban. Trump has gone as far as to say that he would bring back waterboarding and "worse" tactics to get information.

The CIA used such interrogation techniques after the Sept. 11 attacks. Brennan told NBC News that he would not agree to CIA officers carrying out waterboarding again.