In today's Senate confirmation hearing, Donald Trump's pick to head the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo was asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein if he would use torture if the president asked him to and Rep. Pompeo replied, "Absolutely not."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee began her questions to Rep. Pompeo and asked, "If you were ordered by the president to restart the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fall outside the Army field manual, would you comply?
Rep. Pompeo replied, "Senator, absolutely not."
He continued, “Moreover, I can’t imagine that I would be asked that by the president-elect, or then president. I voted for the change in the Army Field Manual in place as a member of Congress and I understand that law very very quickly and any changes to that will come through Congress...and regular order...I will comply with the law."
As The Hill reports, two years ago, Rep. Pompeo heavily criticized Sen. Feinstein for “[putting] American lives in danger” by releasing the summary, arguing that it has signaled to allies in the fight against terrorism that the U.S. will not “honor its commitments.”
In an interview just a few weeks ago with the NY Times, Trump discussed his love of waterboarding with Gen. Mattis.
Haberman: Where are you — and waterboarding?
Trump: I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, what do you think of waterboarding? He said — I was surprised — he said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful.’ He said, ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.’ And I was very impressed by that answer. I was surprised, because he’s known as being like the toughest guy. And when he said that, I’m not saying it changed my mind... Look, we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we’re not allowed to waterboard.
Donald Trump talked almost every night at one of his rallies how ISIS is "chopping the heads off" of people and he wanted to do much worse, including bringing back waterboarding so it's very possible that Rep. Pompeo would be asked to subvert the law, absolutely.
Rep. Pompeo's first answer was fine, but his follow up was ridiculous given what we just witnessed on the campaign trail from Donald Trump.