President Obama is known for being long-winded, but on Friday he uttered a phrase that may be as blunt as any modern president has ever made.

"We tortured some folks," the president said toward the end of a White House news conference as he responded to the release of a Senate report on the C.I.A.'s use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the months after 9/11.

"We crossed a line," Obama continued. "That needs to be understood and accepted, and we as a country need to take responsibility for that so we don't do it again in the future."

It was not the first time that Obama has, as president, used the word "torture" to describe waterboarding and other techniques the CIA employed.

But it was by far his most direct, even jarring, usage.

And of course, it led to some historical variations on Twitter.