Trump will defer on decision over torture tactics to his defense secretary

Trump will defer on decision over torture tactics to his defense secretary

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  • President Donald Trump gestures toward British Prime Minister Theresa May during their news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. Photo: Evan Vucci, AP / AP

WASHINGTON – President Trump said Friday that he continues to believe torture methods can be effective to combat terrorism, but he pledged to defer over whether to implement such tactics to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, who has opposed them.

“He will override,” Trump said in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House. “I’m giving him that power.”

Trump said that enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, which were forbidden by the Obama administration, can work.

Mattis, a retired Marine general, “has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or waterboarding,” Trump said. “I’m going to rely on him.”

In the fight against terror groups, Trump added, “we’re going to win with or without” such torture tactics.

Trump’s remarks came on a day in which he planned to visit the…


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