Republican Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that even if President Donald Trump were to sign an executive order allowing torture, the law is clear on the practice.
“The President can sign whatever executive orders he likes. But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America,” the Arizona senator said in a statement.
The President has said in the past that he would like to “broaden” US laws to allow torture, including waterboarding.
However, Trump’s Cabinet picks, including defense secretary James Mattis and CIA Chief Mike Pompeo, have split with Trump on torture.
When asked if he would restart the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation tactics that fall outside of the army field manual if ordered by Trump, Pompeo responded, “Absolutely not. Moreover, I can’t imagine I would be asked that by the President-elect.”
McCain said he had spoken with Pompeo on the issue, and the new CIA chief reiterated his stance that he would comply with current US interrogation laws.
“During both our personal conversations and his confirmation hearing, CIA Director Mike Pompeo repeatedly committed to me that he will comply with the law that applies the Army Field Manual’s interrogation requirements to all U.S. agencies, including the CIA,” he said.
Mattis also told McCain he would follow current laws.
“Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he ‘support[s] using the Army Field Manual as the single standard for all U.S. military interrogations.’ I am confident these leaders will be true to their word.”