Sen. Rand Paul stridently rejected the notion that American intelligence officials should resume the use of torture on detained combatants—something President Trump favors.
Trump recently declared that torture "absolutely works," and U.S. officials should use any and all legal means to extract intelligence.
Paul took the opposite view, telling CNN's Jake Tapper that "it's currently against the law and I hope it will remain against the law."
He pointed out that incoming Defense Secretary James Mattis is also against torture and believes that it doesn't work. He also argued that U.S. intelligence officials have previously detained the wrong people, casting additional doubt on the idea that enhanced interrogation methods were justified.
"The CIA detained 119 people, 39 of them were tortured, and the conclusion of the Senate committee's report was that it didn't work, but there was also something very alarming," said Paul. "Of the 119 people that the CIA detained around the world, 26 of them were mistakenly identified, sometimes with people who had similar names, but they detained the wrong people. I think most Americans would be alarmed if 22 percent of the people we picked up and tortured were the wrong people."
Paul went on to say that Mike Pompeo's support for torture was one of the reasons he voted against his confirmation as CIA director.
Watch the full video here, via Mediate.
Paul is one of just a handful of people in Congress consistently representing the interests of Americans who are concerned about big government, no matter which team is running the government. He has supported Trump on the (rare) occasions that Trump has staked out a libertarian position on an issue, but is not afraid to go against the president.
If more Congressional Republicans were as principled as Paul, they would actually have the numbers to force Trump to hew closer to the Constitution.