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Trump's A-G pick opposes Muslim ban, waterboarding

Trump's A-G pick opposes Muslim ban, waterboarding


Reuters
WASHINGTON
Donald Trump's candidate for attorney general on Tuesday said he opposed banning Muslims from entering the United States and, taking a tougher stance than the president-elect, said waterboarding is torture and illegal.
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, the nominee, responded to questions at a Senate confirmation hearing, the first in a series this week for nominees to serve in the Cabinet once Trump enters the White House on Jan 20.
Protesters charging Sessions has a poor record on human rights interrupted the proceedings several times.
During the 2016 election campaign Trump said waterboarding was an effective interrogation technique and vowed to bring it back and 'a hell of a lot worse.'
More recently Trump has said retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, his nominee for secretary of defence, had persuasively argued against it.
Asked if waterboarding constituted torture, Sessions said Congress has since passed legislation that makes it 'absolutely improper and illegal to use waterboarding or any other form of torture.'
His stance that the law clearly bans waterboarding could pose a problem for Trump if he tries to reinstate the practice.
Sessions said he would not support banning anyone from the United States on the basis of religion, and said Trump's intentions were to block people coming from countries harbouring terrorists, not all Muslims. During his campaign, Trump at one point proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
Sessions also said he would recuse himself from investigating Hillary Clinton's email practices and charitable foundation if confirmed as attorney general.

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