WICHITA, KS – At Thursday evening’s Republican debate in Detroit, MI, when asked what he would do if the military refused to obey his command to torture terrorist suspects and “take out” of their families, frontrunner Donald Trump’s reply was: “they won’t refuse me, believe me,” and touted his leadership skills as the reason why the military would not refuse virtually any order he gave.
While that did not unequivocally amount to an admission that he would indeed give such an order – it was more a proclamation that the military would be absolutely loyal to him – Trump nonetheless clarified the following day, March 4, that he would not ask the military to break the law.
Many in the media have deemed this a “reversal” of his earlier position, though it is not clear that is the case. Nonetheless, Trump’s March 4 comments, now on record, are that he would not ask the military to break the law.
Any subsequent remarks about whether he would ask the military to do “worse than waterboarding” or to “take out” families of terrorists, would mean one of two things: 1) a reversal; or 2) the assumption that any of those commands would not be illegal when Trump gave them.