The CIA will not engage in harsh "enhanced interrogation" practices, including waterboarding — even if ordered by a future president, the agency’s director John Brennan told NBC News in an exclusive interview.
"I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I've heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure," Brennan said.
Two of the remaining Republican candidates for president have said they are open to using the technique, which critics have called torture. Donald Trump said he would bring it back to extract information from potential terrorists, while Ted Cruz said he doesn’t consider the technique to be torture under the strict definition of the law.
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The CIA used waterboarding and other techniques on terrorist suspects after 9/11, but President Obama banned the practices in 2009 with an executive order.