WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump says that he understands that the U.S. is “bound by laws and treaties” and he will not order U.S. military officials to violate or disobey those laws if elected president.
Trump said in a statement Friday that he will “use every legal power…to stop these terrorist enemies,” but recognized the need for restraint under international law.
His statement Friday follows an open letter written by leaders in the Republican foreign policy and national security committee pledging to oppose Trump’s candidacy, in part, because of his “embrace of the expansive use of torture,” and other controversial views.
Trump has repeatedly said that he will bring back the use of waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse,” and that he would target the wives and children of suspected extremists.
At the GOP debate in Detroit Thursday, Trump insisted that they are “chopping off people’s heads” in the Middle East, noting that any reluctance to embrace waterboarding in such circumstances is wrong.
“Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Gen. Patton are in their graves right now spinning in their graves,” Trump told ABC News on Thursday.