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CIA Nominee Mike Pompeo Reverses Position on Torture

HeadlineJan 13, 2017
H06 pompeo hearing

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.

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