Trump: I Will Be Tougher Than ISIS And Bring Back ‘Something Beyond’ Waterboarding

Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to be “tougher” than ISIS, which includes bringing back waterboarding, or something beyond that if necessary.

Partial transcript as follows:

STEPHANOPOULOS: “The issue of waterboarding was front and center last night. You said, I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding. What did you have in mind?”

TRUMP: “Well, George, you’re not talking about what I said before that. I said we’re living in a world where, in the Middle East, they’re cutting people’s heads off. They’re chopping a Christian’s head off. And many of them, we talk about Foley, James Foley, and you know, what a wonderful young man. Boom, they’re chopping heads. So then I went into this. I said, yes, I would bring back waterboarding. And I would make it a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Yes. What did you have in mind?”

TRUMP: “I had in mind going worse than waterboarding. It’s enough. We have right now a country that’s under siege. It’s under siege from a people, from — we’re like living in medieval times. If I have it to do and if it’s up to me, I would absolutely bring back waterboarding. And if it’s going to be tougher than waterboarding, I would bring that back, too.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “As president, you would authorize torture?”

TRUMP: “I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective. If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Do we win by being more like them?”

TRUMP: “Yes. I’m sorry. You have to do it that way. And I’m not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don’t. We are living in a time that’s as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied Medieval times. That’s what they did, they chopped off heads. That’s what we have–”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “So we’re going to chop off heads–”

TRUMP: “We’re going to do things beyond waterboarding perhaps, if that happens to come. The question was asked. I thought Ted’s answer was very tentative, Ted Cruz. He gave a very tentative answer. If we have to, we’re going to have to do more. But when you have conditions like that, I would say absolutely, I would approve waterboarding and if you go beyond it, I’m OK with that.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “So let me just clarify this. Right now, the law says they have to follow the Army “Field Manual,” which prohibits–”

TRUMP: “Right.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “— waterboarding. You would try to overturn the law (INAUDIBLE)–”

TRUMP: “Well, no, you had to have it reclassified. You reclassify and you’ll see what happens. But I would certainly approve waterboarding. They laugh at us. Our enemies laugh at us, George. They say waterboarding, they don’t even think it’s a form — you know, they don’t even view that as real torture. But they say waterboarding and they chop off heads. They think we are so stupid, you have no idea. The enemy that we are fighting — and no wonder they’re doing so well, because with this kind of thinking, that’s why they’re doing so well.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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