McCain promises that the US will not torture prisoners, no matter what Trump says

Sen. John McCain said definitively on Wednesday that the U.S. will not bring back torture interrogation techniques regardless of what executive orders President Trump signs.

Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that will require a review of interrogation policies.

“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,” McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to bring back waterboaring as well as “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” to combat Islamic State fighters who are “chopping the heads off many other people.”

McCain experienced years of torture while he was a prisoner during the Vietnam War.

The fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act put the prohibition on torture into law by limiting interrogation techniques the U.S. can use to those in the Army Field Manual, which does not include waterboarding or other torture techniques.

McCain noted that Trump’s nominees for multiple key posts, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, have promised to follow that law.

“I am confident these leaders will be true to their word,” McCain said.

Trump told the New York Times in November that he and Mattis had talked about the use of torture to collect intelligence during interrogations and that the retired general said he had “never found it to be useful.” As a result, Trump said torture is “not going to make the kind of difference that a lot of people are thinking.”

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