Waterboarding isn’t torture, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday, aligning himself with President-elect Donald Trump’s previously stated position.
“Waterboarding isn’t torture. We do waterboarding on our own soldiers in the military,” Cotton argued with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
Blitzer interjected, “But the US doesn’t do it anymore.”
“If experienced intelligence officials come to the President of the United States and say we think this terrorist has critical information and we need to obtain it and this is the only way we can obtain it – it’s a tough call. But the presidency is a tough job. And if you’re not ready to make those tough calls, you shouldn’t seek the office. Donald Trump’s a pretty tough guy, and he’s ready to make those tough calls,” Cotton said.
Blitzer reminded Cotton of his colleague Sen. John McCain, who himself was tortured as a POW during the Vietnam War, and says that torture is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and International Law.
“On this one, I disagree,” Cotton said, “Anything that American troops volunteer for, and radio DJs volunteer for, is not torture. If it has to be done to save American lives, that’s a tough call.”
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly advocated for waterboarding terror suspect and wants to “broaden” existing laws to allow interrogators to use the tactic.
“We have to play the game the way they’re playing the game. You’re not going to win if we’re soft and they’re, they have no rules,” Trump told CBS’ “Face The Nation” in an interview taped in March.