COOPER: When you say increase the laws and do more than water boarding, what is that specifically?
TRUMP: I'll work it with the generals. I'll work with the generals.
COOPER: I talked to General Michael Hayden.
TRUMP: For sure he says it's terrible that we talk that way. And, you know what, that's why he's been fighting this war for many years. OK.
COOPER: He is the Four-Star General Former CIA. Former Head of the CIA., he says your foreign policy ideas are frightening.
TRUMP: Oh, yeah I know well, his, he frightens me because we've been fighting ISIS for many years and this shouldn't have taken -- this should have been over with quickly. So that's the problem we have these people that are frightened because I'm protecting chaos.
Donald Trump has a pattern, in pretty much every position that he takes with any issue. If you aren't winning fast, he wants to just brutalize the other side.
Not winning on trade? Send in "real killers" to beat other countries into submission.
Mexico not willing to build his wall? Build up the military and threaten them so they don't 'play war' with us.
Progress against ISIS being made too slowly for your taste? Take it away Donald!
TRUMP: Anderson, let me explain something we are playing at this level and they [ISIS] don't care. They have no rules. And we have these rules that are very onerous. I mean our military is got brought in because ...
COOPER: Geneva Conventions on war. There's ways -- there's rules in a battle.
TRUMP: I know that, but, you know what, it's funny. It's very interesting what's happens with the Geneva Convention. Everybody believes in the Geneva Convention until they start losing and then they say oh, let's take out the bomb. OK. When they start losing. We have to play with a tougher set of rules We have laws. We don't allow water boarding.
Yes, let's get rid of all those pesky "rules" like the Geneva Conventions that are in place to protect our troops. Let's torture, even though it has been shown to do more harm than good, in the war on terror.
But here is the funny thing. Until a few days ago, Donald Trump had one other position.
"And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don't kid yourself. But they say they don't care about their lives. You have to take out their families."
That's right, he supported taking out innocent civilians, whose only "crime" was being related to a terrorist.
That was his position, until the aforementioned Michael Hayden told Bill Maher, "If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act. You are required not to follow an unlawful order. That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict."
Suddenly, big, blustery Donald Trump wavered. Suddenly, he didn't want to go "take out" families. In fact, he denied he ever said that at all! Now, Donald Trump merely wants to "go after" families.
Michael Hayden, the retired General that Trump says 'scares him' because we haven't yet defeated ISIS? Trump was scared of him, alright. Scared enough to do something Donald Trump is loath to ever do - backtrack.
Bullies, by nature, are loud and crude and target people they think they can bully. Donald Trump knows he can't do that to the men and women in the military.
There are a lot of people he'll belittle. There are a lot of people he'll try to beat up. And there are a lot of people he'll insult. But when it comes to the military, and the men and women who have more toughness in their pinkie than Donald Trump has in all of the Trump Tower, he retreats. No talk of any "loser." No name-calling. No talk about who has the bigger genitals.
Flat. Out. Retreat.
It's a lesson that should not be lost on Democrats, when and if Donald Trump is the nominee.