Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director on Thursday reversed his position on torture, telling senators at his confirmation hearing that waterboarding is illegal. Rep. Mike Pompeo previously claimed such so-called enhanced interrogation tactics were constitutional. This is Rep. Pompeo being questioned by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: “If you were ordered by the president to restart the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fall outside of the Army Field Manual, would you comply?”
Rep. Mike Pompeo: “Senator, absolutely not. Moreover, I can’t imagine that I would be asked that by the president-elect, or then-president.”
Donald Trump promised in a debate last February to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Rep. Pompeo said he would continue monitoring Iran’s compliance with a nuclear agreement brokered in 2015. He previously said he wanted the U.S. to immediately scrap the nuclear deal. Rep. Pompeo is a strong proponent of expanding the prison at Guantánamo Bay. He’s called for the expansion of domestic surveillance and has called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a traitor who should be put to death.