Mike Pompeo, nominee to head the CIA, has said that he would not follow orders to use banned interrogation techniques, and that he couldn't imagine Donald Trump giving such an instruction.

In Pompeo's Senate confirmation hearing on January 12th, he was asked about the harsh methods of interrogation:

Senator Dianne Feinstein: “If you were ordered by the President to re-start the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fall outside of the Army Field Manual, would you comply?”

Pompeo: “Senator, absolutely not. Moreover, I can't imagine that I would be asked that by the president-elect or then-president.”

In a series of written answers to pre-hearing questions, Pompeo was asked about rendition, and about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA torture programme.

On the Senate report:

“I feel strongly that intelligence professionals who are asked to do difficult and dangerous things that are on behalf of their country and in full compliance with the law, and do so after full consultation with the highest legal officials of the country, deserve our gratitude, not endless scorn.”

On rendition:

Q: “To what extent should the US Government rely on ‘diplomatic assurances’ provided by countries to which detainees may be extradited or rendered? Should such assurances be accepted from countries with established records of committing torture?”

A: “I understand that assurances provided by other countries have been a valuable tool for ensuring that detainees are treated humanely […] Like any commitment, the credibility of any assurances should be assessed on a case-by-case basis in light of all the relevant factors, including the practices of the country providing the assurances, as well as that country’s record of complying with similar assurances provided to the United States and other countries.”

Read hearing transcript here.

Read the full pre-hearing questions and answers here.