WASHINGTON — It contained crossed-out phrases and typos. It said that the Sept. 11 attacks occurred in 2011, rather than a decade earlier. It was clearly not meant for public consumption.
But the draft of a Trump administration executive order that spilled into public view early Wednesday — a document that raised the prospect of reviving C.I.A. “black site” prisons like those where terrorism suspects were once detained and tortured — has the potential to further fracture a national security team already divided over one of the most controversial policies of the post-9/11 era.
The White House disclaimed the document, which was leaked to The New York Times and other news organizations, but three administration officials said the White House had circulated it among National Security Council staff members for review on Tuesday morning. And many of its proposals — which also include halting transfers out of the Guantánamo Bay prison and sending new detainees there, which President Barack Obama refused to do — echo years of Republican national security policy and President Trump’s own speeches.
But Mr. Trump’s most extreme campaign proposal for terrorism suspects — bringing back torture, which the draft order does not call for but hovers over in its direction to review reinstating a C.I.A. interrogation program — has been disavowed by senior members of his team, most notably Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. Mr. Mattis has long opposed some of the aggressive interrogation methods used during President George W. Bush’s administration, and in his recent confirmation hearing, he said that the military should use only interrogation methods contained in the Army Field Manuals.
For his part, Mr. Trump said on Wednesday, as he had several times during the presidential campaign, that he thought torturing terrorism suspects was justified. But in an interview with ABC News, the president also said he would defer to Mr. Mattis and Mr. Pompeo.
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