U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (R) attend a ceremonial sweRetuers

President Donald Trump, asked about the practice of waterboarding as an intelligence-gathering tool, said: "Absolutely I feel it works,” but added he would defer to his Cabinet on whether to use it.

Trump told ABC in an interview to be broadcast later on Wednesday he would rely on the advice of CIA Director Mike Pompeo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, among others, about using the illegal technique.

"And if they don’t want to do it, that’s fine. If they do want to do it then I will work toward that end. I want to do everything within the bounds of what we’re allowed to do if it’s legal ... Do I feel it works? Absolutely I feel it works.”

Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, signed an executive order in 2009 banning waterboarding - a form of simulated drowning - and other Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, which are denounced by many lawmakers and rights groups astorture.