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Trump calls for return of waterboarding after Turkey bombings

By Martin Smith
Republican candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Monessen, Pa., on Tuesday. In response to a terrorist attack on the airport in Istanbul, Trump said the United States needs to bring back waterboarding as an interrogation technique. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/db66e833e1b730813a5766400d9a49bd/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Republican candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Monessen, Pa., on Tuesday. In response to a terrorist attack on the airport in Istanbul, Trump said the United States needs to bring back waterboarding as an interrogation technique. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

ST.CLAIRESVILLE, Ohio, June 29 (UPI) -- Donald Trump called for the United States to "fight fire with fire" and bring back waterboarding in the wake of the Istanbul airport bombing, which killed dozens and injured hundreds more.

Speaking at an Ohio rally just hours after Tuesday's attack in Turkey, the presumptive Republican nominee said America needs to reinstate the controversial interrogation technique in its battle against the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.

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President Barack Obama banned the practice in 2009. CIA Director John Brennan said in April his agency {link:would not resume it. : "https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/04/11/Trump-CIA-directors-comments-rejecting-waterboarding-ridiculous/7711460369535/" target="_blank"}

When asked if he thinks the the United States should bring back waterboarding, Trump told the crowd,: "You have to fight fire with fire. We have to be so strong. We have to fight so viciously. And violently because we're dealing with violent people viciously.

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"They eat dinner like us. 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."

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His declaration drew cheers and chants of: "USA! USA!"

Earlier, Trump expressed his condolences to the victims of the attack at Ataturk Airport and called on Americans to "do everything" to keep the United States safe.

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"Our prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in Istanbul," he said. "The whole world is stunned and horrified.

"The terrorist threat has never been greater. Our enemies are brutal and ruthless and will do anything to murder those who do not bend to their will.

"We must take steps now to protect America from terrorists and do everything in our power to improve our security to keep America safe."

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It's not the first time that Trump has called for the use of waterboarding, an interrogation technique that makes suspects feel like they are drowning.

During a GOP primary debate, Trump said the method was far less barbaric than the atrocities being carried out by IS.

"In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians," he said. "We have people chopping the heads off many other people, we have things that we have never seen before as a group.

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"We have never seen before what's happening right now. The Medieval times, not since Medieval times have people seen what's going on.

"I would bring back waterboarding, and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."

Meanwhile, his rival for the White House, Democrat Hillary Clinton said in a statement that "all Americans stand united with the people of Turkey against this campaign of hatred and violence."

She added that the attack "only strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical jihadism around the world. We must deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe to take on this threat. Such cooperation is essential to protecting the homeland and keeping our country safe."

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