"I'll work on it with the general," he told Cooper. He added, "We have to play the game at a much tougher level than we're playing it now."
To reiterate - waterboarding, which has been discredited as useless in getting accurate information as well as being inhumane, isn't far enough for Trump. He feels the US needs to get "much tougher" on the people who threaten the security of the nation, including Islam (a religion, not people). Oh, and the Mexican rapists, and women who think they have a voice in political debate, so on and so forth.
There are precedents for this. When national bosses turn to the military as their key advisor on matters of foreign affairs or social policy, this thing happens where every problem starts to look like a nail.
How do you get tougher on groups like ISIL? You bomb them and the countries they are in. This fosters perfect recruitment opportunities, as the only reason groups like this can exist is because there are legitimate concerns militant groups (religious, political, it doesn't really matter) can tap into.
Then you look at threats internally and apply the hammer at home as well - to the criminals, regardless of what led them to be criminal, and then "special interest" groups that get in the way of the president and their military cabinet doing what they feel is their right, which is whatever they can get away with. What about homosexuals, who he detests? Or political dissenters, or even academics just doing their job? How about people of different political parties who vocally challenge his rule? What about any minority group he feels stands in the way of making America great again, like it was... when? When the Confederate flag hung on state buildings?
This is the approach Bashar al-Assad has taken in Syria. Study carefully the results. It's the approach Mussolini took in Italy - understand what happened. Pinochet got "much tougher" in Chile, how did that work out?
The greatest threat to democracy is never external - it is always the one-note populist who things violence and threats are the only way to get what they want.
What they want is never, never what's good for the people. Which is why we have democracy in the first place - only the people, with carefully collected, curated and analysed information - know what is best for themselves.
Trump is telling the whole world exactly how he would govern. If he wins, it's clear exactly what sort of response he would generate, here and abroad - it's a story we have seen time and again and are seeing play out now in extreme form in Syria.
It's time his supporters turn inwards and ask themselves if that's the America they really want. Their entire generation and the country as a whole for generations to come will be judged by the choices they make at the ballot box.