Hours after the attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport that killed at least 41 people and injured at least 239, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump reemphasized his support for torture tactics.
In a speech in Ohio on Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to fight "fire with fire." He told the crowd that waterboarding is "peanuts" compared with the tactics used by terrorist organizations. He then asked the crowd what they thought about waterboarding, and through the cheers he said, "I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough":
Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they're eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don't do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we're weak, we're stupid, we don't know what we're doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire.
Trump’s advocacy for adopting waterboarding, and other policies the US seemed to part with after the George W. Bush administration, was less publicized on his normally outspoken Twitter account.
Last night, Trump asked via Twitter whether the world will ever realize what is going on — whether that’s a rhetorical question that Trump (thinks he) knows the answer to or a genuine question is unclear.
Yet another terrorist attack, this time in Turkey. Will— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2016
the world ever realize what is going on? So sad.
He then followed up, saying that we "must do everything we can to keep this horrible terrorism outside the United States."
We must do everything possible to keep this horrible terrorism outside the United States.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2016
Keeping people out is not a new theme for Trump
Trump has repeatedly voiced his support for banning Muslim immigration to the US. More recently the ban has been revised to include only select countries with "terrorism links" — causing some people to argue that he is softening his positions to become more appealing in the general election.
However, between his vocal support of increasing torture tactics and the fact that in the same speech, he used the term "rape" to describe the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s actions against the United States, he doesn’t seem to be making the general election pivot some Republicans were hoping to see from him.