President Trump Stands by Campaign Promise to Bring Back Torture

The president said he would rely on his national security advisers before making a final decision.
2:59 | 01/25/17

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Transcript for President Trump Stands by Campaign Promise to Bring Back Torture
new reports tonight that the trump administration is thinking about bringing back the so-called CIA black sites. We asked the president about that, and about torture. After what he told me during one of the do its. Mr. President, you told me during one of the debates that you would bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse. Those words. I would do -- I would do -- I wanna keep our country safe. I wanna keep our country safe. What does that mean? When they're shooting -- when they're chopping off the heads of our people and other people. When they're chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire. Now that being said I'm going with general Mattis. I'm going with my secretary, because I think Pompeo's gonna be phenomenal. I'm going to go with what they say. But I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence, and I asked them the question, "Does it work? Does torture work?" And the answer was, "Yes, absolutely." You're now the president. Do you want waterboarding? I don't want people to chop off the citizens or anybody's heads in the Middle East. Okay? Because they're Christian or Muslim or anything else. I don't want -- look, now they chop 'em off and they put 'em on camera and they send 'em all over the world. So we have that and we're not allowed to do anything. We're not playing on an even field. I will say this, I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. And if they don't wanna do it, that's fine. If they do wanna do, then I will work for that end. Jon, you heard president trump there saying he is asking his top advisers, does torture work? He made headlines on this. Reporter: That is just a fascinating exchange, David, because general Mattis, now secretary Mattis is saying, absolutely not. Waterboarding doesn't work. It's counterproductive, and he said he will take that advice now. But you hear how firmly he believes in the other direction, and he says he has talked to other people who disagree with his now secretary of defense. I am told, though, David, there is nothing under consideration right now at the white house for changing the rules on advanced interrogation techniques or on those black sites. He is truly taking secretary Mattis' sad rice. Thank you. This was wide ranging and nothing was off limits. The president also gave us a tour of the white house today. We walked to the oval office. The president telling us about the moment he received the nuclear codes. What that was like, and we asked him what he would say to those more than a million who marched in protest of this country. What he would say to the women, men and children who marched. He takes us into the oval office. The changes he has made, and the letter from president Obama. Our complete interview later tonight. Donald Trump, the white house interview.

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

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