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Donald Trump Says He Would Bring Back Waterboarding Terrorists as Interrogation Tactic

"We have to be strong. You know, they don’t use waterboarding over there; they use chopping off people’s heads," Trump said on ABC's "This Week."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday he would bring back waterboarding as a strategy in interrogations of suspected terrorists.

"I would bring it back, yes. I would bring it back. I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they’d do to us," Trump told "This Week" on ABC. "We have to be strong. You know, they don’t use waterboarding over there; they use chopping off people’s heads."

Trump's comments on ABC's "This Week" followed a week of controversial statements from the candidate about being tough on terror made in the wake of the attacks in Paris and Mali.

But Trump backtracked on comments about wanting a database of Muslims in the U.S. by clarifying that he would implement "surveillance" of people coming into the country.

He said Sunday that he would want a database of Syrian refugees coming into the U.S. "When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don’t know if they’re ISIS, we don’t know if it’s a Trojan horse," he said.

Trump also wants mosques "surveiled," he said. "There are certain hot spots, and everybody knows (the mosques) are hot spots," Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

PHOTOS - On the Stump: Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign

An NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll released Friday showed Trump has regained the front-runner spot, with 28 percent support, after tying with Ben Carson in the previous month's poll.

"I'm leading every poll by a lot. It's not even a little bit anymore, it's a lot," Trump said Sunday. And when asked if he would consider a third-party run if rumors that GOP officials are planning to unite donors against him prove true, the candidate said he wouldn't rule it out.

"I'm going to have to see what happens ... If I'm treated fairly, I'm fine. All I want to do is a level playing field," Trump said.

The real estate mogul turned politician reluctantly signed a Republican National Committee pledge in September to forego an independent run.