At his Wednesday press briefing, Pres. Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer denied that the administration had anything to do with a leaked draft of an executive order that would lift the current ban on U.S. torture of detainees.
“It is not a White House document,” Spicer said, according to Talking Points Memo. “I have no idea where it came from.”
The New York Times reported Wednesday morning that Pres. Trump is preparing to lift the Obama administration’s ban on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and so-called “black sites” where detainees are stripped of their rights and protections and can be held and tortured with impunity for years.
The Times based its report on a 3-page draft of an executive order called “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants.”
At his press conference on Wednesday, however, Spicer denied the document’s authenticity when asked about it by a reporter.
“It is not a White House document, and I would just urge those people who have reported on it, this is now I think the second day that we’ve had a document that was not a White House document get reported on as a factual document,” he said. “It is not a White House document. I have no idea where it came from.”
“I’m not going to start answering hypotheticals about documents that are floating around,” Spicer snapped at NBC reporter Kristen Welker before moving on to the next question.
The other document Spicer was alluding to was a phony White House press release that circulated over the weekend.
The leaked draft order lifting the ban on Bush-era “enhanced interrogation techniques,” however, only echoed statements Trump made on the campaign trail like “torture works” and “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway.”