President Trump said Wednesday that while he believes waterboarding "absolutely" works, he will defer to his top advisers on what they believe is the best path forward in interrogation tactics.
Trump told ABC's "World News Tonight" that he believes waterboarding is warranted in order to combat Islamic State tactics that involve cutting off people's heads, filming it and posting it online, which is similar to comments he made on the campaign trail.
"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," Trump said in an excerpt of the interview, which will air in full on Wednesday night.
Trump said he's spoken with people "at the highest level of intelligence" within the past day who told him that torture does work, but that he will ultimately defer to Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo and stay within the bounds of law.
"Now, that being said, I'm going with Gen. Mattis. I'm going with my secretary because I think Pompeo is going to be phenomenal. I'm going to go with what they say," he continued.
"I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. If they don't want to do, that's fine. If they do want to do, then I will work toward that end," he said.
Reports that Trump was signing an executive order on Wednesday that would direct a review of interrogation policies sparked backlash from lawmakers and veterans groups, but the White House said that the reports are invalid and that documents cited are not from the White House.