GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump thrashed critics Thursday night, saying the military will not disobey his orders if elected.
During the GOP debate Thursday night on Fox News, Trump doubled down on previous campaign promises to waterboard terrorists and engage in methods of interrogation far worse than waterboarding, Politico reports.
While former CIA director Michael Hayden suggested the military will completely refuse to carry out Trump’s orders if he’s elected, given they plausibly violate international law, Trump affirmed very clearly, “They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.” Not only did Trump advocate for harsher interrogation methods than waterboarding, but also said he would kill the families of terrorists, since, in the case of the 9/11 hijackers, the families “knew what was happening. The wife knew exactly what was happening.”
“I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader,” Trump added Thursday. “I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.”
Hayden found Trump’s stance on killing families objectionable.
“You cannot—you are not committed, you are not required, in fact you’re required to not follow an unlawful order,” Hayden told HBO host Bill Maher last Friday. “That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”
Maher ramped up the discussion by suggesting Trump’s orders may lead to a military coup.
“You’ve given us a great reason not to support Trump. There would be a coup in this country,” Maher said.
[dcquiz] Aside from Hayden, over 50 Republican national security experts have recently signed a letter condemning Trump and arguing that because of his unhinged foreign policy, he isn’t fit to be president. The letter points to the fact that Trump’s foreign policy ideas are unprincipled.
“He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.” Additionally, these experts do not believe that success in business translates to success in policy.
“Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs,” the letter read.
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