Leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday he wouldn’t order the U.S. military to break international laws, addressing criticism from military and legal experts that his policies regarding torture and killing the family members of terrorists would violate the Geneva Convention.
Mr. Trump, in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, said he would “use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies. 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.”
This appears to be a reversal from Thursday night’s GOP debate in Detroit, when Mr. Trump stood by earlier proposals to do things that were a “hell of a lot worse” than waterboarding terrorist suspects and also authorize the military to kill family members of terrorists.
“I’ve always been a leader,” he said Thursday night. “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.”