United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that waterboarding “absolutely works” and that he will consult his Cabinet on whether to reintroduce it as an interrogation tool, ABC News reported. In his first interview since his inauguration on January 20, Trump said it was necessary to “fight fire with fire” with regard to torturing prisoners, because of the techniques being used by the Islamic State and other militant groups in West Asia.

“I wanna keep our country safe,” Trump said. “I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence. And I asked them the question, ‘Does it work? Does torture work?’ And the answer was, ‘Yes absolutely’.” Trump said he was going to be the president of a “safe country”.

Trump also may order a review that could lead to the US’ Central Intelligence Agency bringing back a programme for detaining terrorist suspects in secret overseas “black site” prisons, Reuters reported.

Referring to his campaign promise on building a wall on the border between the US and Mexico, the president continued to insist that Mexico City would pay for the wall, in “perhaps a complicated form”. “We’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico...I wanna build the wall. We have to build the wall,” he said. On Wednesday, Trump had signed executive orders to speed up the process to build the wall. He is also expected to stop federal grants to “sanctuary cities” that take in immigrants.

Trump also said that his administration would focus its efforts to “bring back jobs to America”. “I was with the Ford yesterday. And with General Motors yesterday. The top representatives, great people. And they’re gonna do some tremendous work in the United States.” The president has also signed executive orders on abortion funding, among other policies. As expected, some of his orders have met with fierce criticism from rights groups.