BLUFFTON, S.C. — Donald Trump said Wednesday that he supports waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques because ‘‘torture works’’ in the questioning of terrorists.
Proponents of waterboarding are careful not to label the technique as torture, which is forbidden by various international laws and treaties. President Obama’s administration discontinued the use of waterboarding because it deemed the technique to be torture. During a campaign event at the Sun City retirement community, Trump emphasized his intention to reinstate waterboarding and techniques that are ‘‘so much worse’’ and ‘‘much stronger.’’
‘‘Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,’’ Trump said. ‘‘Okay, folks? Torture — you know, half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?’’
Trump has long called for the return of waterboarding, and he has seemed to embrace the idea of torture in the past without using the term himself.
Trump’s comment on Wednesday was in response to a question from South Carolina state representative Bill Herbkersman, a Republican who asked him a series of questions at a fireside-chat style event.
‘‘On that whole thing of politically correct, would you allow US interrogators to waterboard terrorist prisoners in order to extract information?’’ Herbkersman asked Trump.
‘‘Absolutely,’’ Trump said to strong applause from the audience of about 500 retirees, who often laughed as Trump discussed enhanced interrogation techniques.
Trump hit Republican opponent Ted Cruz for being ‘‘really weak’’ on this issue during an earlier debate.
‘‘He didn’t want to get involved because he thought waterboarding was bad, so — of course it’s bad, but it’s not chopping off heads, folks,’’ Trump said. ‘‘Okay? That I can tell you.’’
Rapper says ‘uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president’
ATLANTA — When rapper Killer Mike spoke before Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at an Atlanta rally on Tuesday night, he sparked controversy by telling supporters that ‘‘a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States.’’
Killer Mike is the latest Sanders surrogate to use impolitic comments about Hillary Clinton, raising tensions between the two campaigns as they head into pivotal contests in Nevada, South Carolina, and a string of ‘‘Super Tuesday’’ states on March 1. It comes weeks after former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright implied at a Clinton rally in New Hampshire there was a ‘‘special place in hell’’ for women who don’t support Clinton, a line that angered some female supporters of Sanders.
The rapper, whose real name is Michael Render, suggested at a rally before 4,800 people at Morehouse College that Clinton would be slow to move on issues of racial justice. His comments referenced a recent conversation he said he had with anti-racism activist Jane Elliott.
‘‘When people tell us, ‘Hold on, wait awhile.’ And that’s what the other Democrat is telling you. ‘Hold on, Black Lives Matter. Just wait awhile.’ ‘Hold on, young people in this country, just wait awhile,’ ’’ the rapper said. ‘‘But I talked to Jane Elliott a few weeks ago, and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States. You have to be — you have to have policy that’s reflective of social justice.’ ’’
Sanders did not address the comments during the Atlanta rally and it wasn’t clear if the senator heard them — he was off stage at the time. The campaign did not immediately address the remarks.