Republican front-runner Donald Trump moved to staunch scathing criticism of his national security views on Friday, executing an abrupt about-face by declaring that he would not order the U.S. military to violate international laws to fight terrorism.

After advocating the killing of terrorists’ families and the benefits of waterboarding, Trump reversed course after condemnation from former cabinet members, lawmakers and intelligence and military officials, some of whom denounced him as “utterly unfitted to the office” of president.

Others suggested that the military would be within its rights to refuse to obey those orders.

But in a statement Friday, Trump said that he understands “that the United States is bound by laws and treaties” and that he would “not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters.”

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