Former Vice President Dick Cheney shared in a new interview his support for Gina Haspel, President Trump's choice to run the CIA, and said the "enhanced interrogation" techniques the agency used were not torture.
Speaking to Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo in an interview that aired Sunday, Cheney said the techniques, such as waterboarding, helped aid in the capture of Usama bin Laden in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Critics point to a United Nations convention, signed by the U.S., which defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted."
"Waterboarding was applied actually to only three individuals — one of those was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11," the former vice president said on "Sunday Morning Futures," noting that a classified report called Mohammed a "preeminent source" of information on Al Qaeda.
"He's the guy who got waterboarded more than anybody else," he said. "I think what we did helped ultimately produce the intelligence we needed to be able to get bin Laden."
Cheney, who said he's "not one of those people that calls it torture," added: "I supported it wholeheartedly, I still do to this day."
Under questioning Wednesday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel said she would not permit the CIA to restart the harsh interrogation program it previously ran, adding that she didn't "believe that torture works."
Cheney, for his part, said that if it were his choice, he "would not discontinue those programs. I'd have them active and ready to go, and I'd go back and study them and learn."
Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.