Donald Trump rows back on claims he would use torture and target civilians

The Republican presidential hopeful has endorsed going after the families of terrorists

Donald Trump, torture, Geneva convention,

Image: Gerald Herbert / AP/Press Association Images

On Friday, Donald Trump issued a statement outlining that he would reverse his position on the proposal to "take out" the families of terrorists. 

The stance was put forward by Trump on a number of occasions, most recently during the GOP debate on Thursday night after being asked about the issue by one of the moderators. 

He reiterated his position that he would target the families of terrorists and use tactics such as waterboarding, saying "if we want to go stronger, I’d go stronger too. Because frankly, that’s the way I feel. Can you imagine these people, these animals, over in the Middle East that chop off heads, sitting around talking and seeing that we’re having a hard problem with waterboarding? We should go for waterboarding and we should go tougher than waterboarding". 

The presidential hopeful was asked how he would react if, as CIA Director Michael Hayden recently predicted, members of the military refused those commands, and responded that "they're not going to refuse me. Believe me."

A statement issued on behalf of Trump on Friday rowed back on both those fronts however, recognising that the United States was a signatory on the Geneva conventions on war crimes: 

"I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters. I will not order a military officer to disobey the law. It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities."