Watch CBS's John Dickerson Press Donald Trump On Advocating Waterboarding

Dickerson: Aren't Laws Banning Torture “What Separates Us From The Savages?”

From the March 6 edition of CBS's Face The Nation:

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JOHN DICKERSON (HOST): Let me ask you about your position on torture. When you and I talked last week you said that General Hayden was wrong when he said that military wouldn't follow you on the question of waterboarding and on the killing of terrorist families. In the debate you said “If I say do it, they are going to do it.” You were talking about the military. Then on Friday you said, “I will not order our military to violate those laws.” So what changed?

DONALD TRUMP: You never asked me about violating laws, in all fairness, we're talking about violating laws. I would say this, look. We have an enemy in the Middle East that's chopping off heads and drowning people in massive steal cages, ok? We have an enemy that doesn't play by the laws, you can say laws and they're laughing-- they're laughing at us right now. I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete. You know, it's very tough to beat enemies that don't have any, that don't have any restrictions, all right? We have these massive restrictions. Now I will always abide by the law but I would like to have the law expanded. I would like to make --


TRUMP: Well, I'd like to -- I happen to think that when you're fighting an enemy that chops off heads, I happen to think that we should use something that is stronger than we have right now. Right now basically waterboarding is essentially not allowed as I understand it.

DICKERSON: And you would like it to be, if you could expand it.

TRUMP: I would certainly like it to be at a minimum -- at a minimum to allow that.

DICKERSON: Why do you think we don't have those -- why do you think we don't have waterboarding?

TRUMP: Because I think we have become very weak and ineffective, I think that's why we're not beating ISIS, it's that mentality.

DICKERSON: But you think people got rid of the law to be weak?

TRUMP: No. I think that we are weak. I think we're weak. We cannot beat ISIS. We should beat ISIS very quickly. General Patton would've had ISIS down in about three days. General Douglas McArthur -- we are playing by a different set of rules. We are -- let me just put it differently. When the ISIS people chop off the heads and they then go back to their homes and they talk, and they hear we're talking about waterboarding like it's the worst thing in the world and they've just drowned a hundred people and chopped off fifty heads, they must think we are a little bit on the weak side.

DICKERSON: The reason that waterboarding was -- a number of reasons, but one of them was because the worry was that if America does that then our soldiers, American hostages, will be treated even worse. That's the argument. What do you think of that argument?

TRUMP: They're doing that anyway. They're killing our soldiers when they capture them. I mean, they're doing that anyway. Now, if that were the case, in other words we won't do it and you don't do it, but we're not playing by those rules, they're not -- what, did somebody tell ISIS, look, we're going to treat your guys well would you please do us favor treat our guys well? They don't do that. We're not playing by -- we are playing by rules but they have no rules. It's very hard to win when that's the case.

DICKERSON: Isn't that what separates us from the savages?

TRUMP: No, I don't think so, we have to beat the savages.

DICKERSON: And therefore throw all the rules out.

TRUMP: We have to beat the savages.

DICKERSON: By being savages.

TRUMP: No, well -- Look, you have to play the game the way they're playing the game. You're not going to win if we are soft and they are -- they have no rules. Now I want to stay within the laws, I want to do all of that, but I think we have to increase the laws because the laws are not working obviously. All you have to do is take a look at what's going on. And they're getting worse. They're chopping, chopping, chopping, and we're worried about waterboarding. I just think it's -- I think our priorities are mixed up.


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