During his first television interview since he was inaugurated as last Friday, the President Donald Trump endorsed the use of torture on terrorists. Trump stated that torture 'absolutely works' and the US should use it to 'fight fire with fire'.

'Fight fire with fire'

In an interview with ABC news, Trump stated that he would delegate to defence secretary James Mattis and CIA chief Mike Pompeo to decide what kind of torture is legal. Trump also discussed using torture as a deterrent to terrorism. When asked about waterboarding specifically, Trump declared: 'It absolutely works'.

Trump continued: 'When ISIS is doing things that no-one has heard of since medieval times, we should fight that. Would I be against waterboarding? As far as I know, we have to fight fire with fire. Terrorist groups chop off people's heads in the Middle East because they're Christian or Muslim or anything. We're not on an even playing field when it comes to fighting terrorism'.

Trump's interview surfaced hours after reports began to circulate that Trump is preparing to sign an order to reinstate detention centres for suspects accused of terrorism. However, Trump's stance on torture has already received substantial backlash.

Trump's stance a threat to national security

John McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate that co-authored a bill that prevents US soldiers from using interrogation techniques beyond those set out by the US army, stated: 'Trump can sign anything he likes but the law is the law.

We are absolutely not bringing torture back to the United States'.

Retired air force colonel, Steve Kleinman, warned that allowing special services to implement torture techniques as a means of interrogation would have serious repercussions on national security.

Theresa May, Britain's Prime Minister, has been urged by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to confront the new President's stance on torture when she meets him on Friday. May responded by stating that the United Kingdom's 'special relationship with the US allows me to engage with the new President on key issues'.