White House Mum on Whether Torture Saved Lives

Josh Earnest tells ABC's Jon Karl that harsh interrogations "undermined our moral authority."
3:14 | 12/10/14

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Transcript for White House Mum on Whether Torture Saved Lives
So John Brennan the president's CIA director has said that this program. He's harsh interrogations. But the president has called torture. Provided valuable in the intelligence that helped disrupt plots and save lives. What's the point blank question does the president grieve when his own CIA director that this program saved lives. He Esther and well John this is that. I have. The president's been very clear about what he believes that these books sent a clear on this course as well but even clearer most important question. And the most importance influx no the most important question is should we had done. Annie is that question is now. The president does not believe I that the use enhanced interrogation techniques. Was good for our national security he does not believe. That it was good for our moral authority in fact he believes that it undermined our moral authority and that is why he's been now the other thing the president's been clear about. And the president talked about this at some point in the interview he did yesterday with as a Kia sport from telemundo. Where he was asked about. I believe isn't Helmand an interview in the opinion vision of him. Where he is asked specifically if he were pressing United States at the time in the immediate aftermath of violence and would he had made it seem decisions that President Bush. And the president was clear about how difficult environment that was. That there was intense pressure that was put on the federal government and members of our national security team to keep the American people safe. And the president is very sympathetic to how difficult. It was for everybody to operate in that environment. All the more reason that we can be clear and unequivocal now. About how the United States will never again implement. The use of and enhanced interrogation techniques because. It undermines our moral authority which the president views. And I think everybody can agree on this is one of the most powerful tools and are partial to protect the interest and it suits them. But the CIA said yesterday. It these tactics provided information. That helps prevent another mass casualty attack if that is true. If these tactics helped prevent a mass casualties and lots of American lives the lives of our allies. How the president say they were worth it. Since they'd better to see those lives lost. Of course not put but that's force guy sings pretty I Jeanette but he asked cat. But but what the president believes is that our moral authority is critically important to representing our interests and protecting the United States of America. And that the the use of these techniques undermines that authority. Right it degrades our ability to coordinate with our eight with our allies and partners all around the globe it hurts our standing in the world. And that's why the president is committed to rebuilding that moral authority and one way we can do that in one important step in doing that is releasing this report. Acknowledging our shortcomings. Being as transparent as possible about them and being just as clear about the commitment that this president and his administration hats. Two insuring that they're never used again.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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