Trump's Homeland Security pick opposes some of his controversial plans

"We passed legislation on the defense bill prohibiting torture, including waterboarding. Do you intend to follow that law?" Sen. John McCain asked Gen. John Kelly during the hearing to confirm him as the head of the Department of Homeland Security.

"Absolutely, senator," Kelly replied.

Kelly, Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, doesn't appear to agree with the president-elect on some of his most controversial campaign promises.

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon


Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Kelly, a retired four-star general, spent years in Iraq and said the military should never come close to doing anything that would violate the Geneva Conventions. That's the opposite of what Trump has promised to do.

"I would bring back waterboarding, and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding," Trump said at a Republican presidential debate.

SEE MORE: Trump's DOJ Pick Backs Off Muslim Ban And Waterboarding

Kelly also split from Trump's promises to target Muslim citizens and immigrants as a way to prevent terrorism.

"Will you commit to ensuring religion does not become a basis for U.S. counterterrorism or law enforcement policy ..." asked Sen. Gary Peters.

"I don't think it is ever appropriate to focus on something like religion as the only factor. So yes, sir," Kelly answered.

Kelly said that while serving in Iraq, he partnered with Muslim communities and gained their trust. He said that was one of the most effective strategies in combating terrorism.

President Obama recently ended the controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System program. It required immigrants from certain countries to register with the government.

Trump's attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions, was also unwilling to support Trump's promises to revive waterboarding and block Muslims from emigrating into the country.

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