McCain on Trump torture stance: 'The law is the law'

And if they don't want to do, that's fine.

The leaked draft order lifting the ban on Bush-era "enhanced interrogation techniques", however, only echoed statements Trump made on the campaign trail like "torture works" and "if it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway." "But do I feel it works?"

The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically meant to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control for the objective of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind. But do I feel it works?

"We haven't engaged in waterboarding since 2004, and somehow we managed to keep our country safe", Bash said at the forum.

"I'm going to go with what they say", Trump said of Mattis and Pompeo. "Does torture work?" Trump said.

McCain cited the National Defense Authorization Act put into place during the Obama administration that "reaffirmed the prohibition on torture by limiting interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual".

Trump's argument was that ISIS is beheading people and posting the videos online, but that the United States is "not allowed to do anything".

But Trump's position on the use of waterboarding seems to differ from some of his Cabinet picks.

McCain said Defense Secretary James Mattis said likewise in response to a query in writing.

"I think that what we've got on the books now in terms of the current authorization for the use of military force is still valid".

"Federal law now clearly prohibits torture and "cruel, inhumane, and degrading" treatment of detainees, and prohibits interrogation techniques not authorized by the Army Field Manual".

"Big day planned on National Security tomorrow", Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday 24 January foreshadowing his executive orders.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), a Vietnam war veteran who opposes torture, condemned the order, telling the Post that Trump could "sign whatever executive orders he likes, but the law is law". "I'm deeply aware that any changes to that will come through Congress", he said.

The Trump administration will order a review that could lead to the reopening of Central Intelligence Agency "black site" prisons overseas that were used to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects, according to a draft order obtained Wednesday by the Washington Post.

Spicer told reporters that the order was "not a White House document".