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Trump voices support for reinstating waterboarding

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir at the White House on Wednesday, January 25, 2016.

US President Donald Trump says he is considering reinstating the use of torture, including the banned interrogation technique of waterboarding against terrorist suspects.

During an interview with ABC News on Wednesday at the White House, Trump said he thinks torture “absolutely” works.

“I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence, and I asked them the question ‘Does it work? Does torture work?’ And the answer was ‘Yes, absolutely,’” the new president said.

Trump said waterboarding is useful against Daesh (ISIL) terrorist who are “chopping off the heads of our people and other people.”

“When ISIL 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," he said.

Waterboarding, which mimics the sensation of drowning, was first allowed during former US president George W. Bush’s administration for terror suspects captured after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The brutal practice was finally banned by the Bush administration in 2006.

During his presidential campaign, Trump pledged to bring back the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques.

"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," Trump told Muir during the New Hampshire Republican primary debate in February 2016.

But Trump's position on the use of waterboarding seems to differ from some of his cabinet picks. During his confirmation hearing to become CIA director, Mike Pompeo said he would not comply if Trump issued a presidential order calling for the reinstatement of torture techniques.

Trump’s remarks come amid reports that the Trump administration is reviewing whether to resume the CIA’s once-secret “black site” detention program outside the US.

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