'Chopping Off Heads' Might Be Useful Torture Technique, Donald Trump Says
Donald Trump may authorize "chopping people's heads off" as an appropriate method of torture should he become president, the 2016 candidate said in a recent interview.
Trump made his comments in a Sunday appearance with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," saying that if he were elected commander-in-chief, he would implement tactics that go "beyond waterboarding."
"I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective," Trump said on the weekend program, adding, "If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands."
"You have to do it that way," Trump continued, adding, "And I'm not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don't."
"We are living in a time that's as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied Medieval times. That's what they did, they chopped off heads. That's what we have," Trump added.
When Stephanopoulos asked Trump to confirm if he was planning to implement beheading as an acceptable form of torture, the presidential candidate replied: "We're going to do things beyond waterboarding, perhaps, if that happens to come."
Other Republican candidates have voiced their views on waterboarding, a practice that was outlawed by President Barack Obama shortly after he took office in 2009.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz said at the most recent Republican debate held last Saturday that although he does not believe waterboarding to be torture, he would not bring back the "widespread use" of the practice.
"Well under the definition of torture, no [waterboarding is not]. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems," Cruz said during last weekend's debate, held in New Hampshire. "So under the definition it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture."
Cruz said he would not "bring it back in any sort of widespread use," adding that the "commander-in-chief has inherent constitutional authority to keep this country safe."
"And so if it were necessary to prevent a city from, say, facing an imminent terrorist attack, you can rest assured that as commander-in-chief, I would use whatever enhanced interrogation methods we could to keep this country safe," the senator added.
Trump took a different stance on waterboarding at the debate, saying he'd bring back the practice and "a hell of a lot worse."
The New York businessman, who came in second behind Cruz in the recent Iowa Caucus vote, continued to criticize the senator's waterboarding stance during a New Hampshire rally held Monday night, when he hurled a vulgarity at Cruz for his comments on torture.
The presidential hopeful had been speaking on Cruz's interrogation views when an audience member shouted out that the senator was a "pussy." Although Trump reprimanded the woman's comments, he went on to repeat the profanity himself.
"OK you're not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that from you again. She said — I never expect to hear that from you again — she said he's a pussy," Trump told the crowd, which responded with laughter and applause.
The Cruz campaign subsequently criticized Trump for his obscenity, with spokeswoman Alice Stewart telling CNN that the phrase was "inappropriate."
The 2016 presidential candidates are currently gathered in New Hampshire for Tuesday's primary vote.