Sep 27, 2020
Donald Trump Interview Transcript on Roe v. Wade, Amy Coney Barrett, and SCOTUS
Donald Trump did an interview with Fox News’ Pete Hegseth from “Fox and Friends” on September 27. He discussed his thoughts on the fate of Roe v. Wade, his Supreme Court nomination Amy Coney Barrett, and more. Read the full interview transcript here.
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Pete Hegseth: (00:20)
The pick is in, and the third pick of your presidency, it’s Amy Coney Barrett. How did you come to this pick, Mr. President?
Donald Trump: (00:29)
So we have a list of about 45 people, and it was set up over a period of time, a long period of time, in conjunction with a lot of other people that are very talented, conservative, but very talented people. And it was definitely a time for a woman. And so I had, I broke it down into five women, and this is a person who is just outstanding. A great student, a great scholar. Her professor, one of the most notable and actually the, probably one of the most respected at Notre Dame said that Amy was the best student that he ever had. He was there for many years. The best student. So that meant something because academics means something to me. And I’m just, I think it’s going to be really thrilling. I hope it goes smoothly. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t. I think it’s going to be very hard to dispute her qualifications or anything about her.
Pete Hegseth: (01:25)
When did you know, Mr. President? There’s been speculation about her name, reports a year ago that you may have been saving her for a Ginsburg opening? When was it crystal clear?
Donald Trump: (01:35)
Well, I’ve been very happy that the two people that we put on. It’s a very proud moment for a president to make choices. And if you look at Justice Gorsuch, or Justice, Kavanaugh, they’ve been just outstanding people, outstanding men. And it was time for a woman. I think I knew. I mean, there was thought of it last time, but I thought that at that time, Judge Kavanaugh, was Judge, was just very outstanding. And I just felt that this was the right time. I did consider her at that time, but when this happened with Justice Ginsburg, when this happened, this just seemed like a natural fit.
Pete Hegseth: (02:21)
There are reports you’ve spoken with her multiple times, met with her here at the White House. What did you talk about, Mr. President? Did you talk about any specifics cases?
Donald Trump: (02:28)
No, specifically I didn’t do that because in theory you, it’s nicer if you don’t. I guess you have no, you could talk about anything you want, but I just really got to know her a little bit, a little bit the last time. And when this was happening, in the process of happening, I called her and I said, “I’d like to have you come down.” And it just worked out very quickly and very well. I didn’t discuss certain concepts and certain things. And some people say you shouldn’t, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t, but I decided not to do it. And I think it gives her freedom to do what she has to do. She has to make rulings. But I think she’s going to make a lot of people, very proud. There’s also, there has been, I noticed there’s a tremendous clamoring for her. The public really, I’ve been seeing it. We’re all human, and I’ve been seeing it. There was a tremendous feeling that she was somebody that was going to be picked. I didn’t tell anybody, but a lot of people felt she was going to be picked.
Pete Hegseth: (03:25)
I want to dive right into the core issue for conservatives, for Evangelicals, for Catholics. Since 1973, there’s been a clamoring for a review and reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Donald Trump: (03:37)
Pete Hegseth: (03:38)
You sat down with our own Chris Wallace in 2016, Mr. President and said this. “If we put another two or three justices on the court, the overturn of Roe v. Wade will happen automatically in my opinion, because I’m putting pro-life justices on the court.” Would you like to see Roe challenged and overturned?
Donald Trump: (03:55)
So I didn’t think it was for me to discuss that with her, because it’s something she’s going to be ruling on. And this is what I was told, although I would have had the right to do that. But if you look at her past actions and rulings, I guess she maybe would be in the category that you mentioned. I don’t know. I can say this, that she is certainly conservative in her views and her rulings. And we’ll have to see how that all works out, but it will work out.
Pete Hegseth: (04:24)
Do you think a six to three court, with three of your picks on there, Mr. President would potentially rule on a life issue, on a Roe issue?
Donald Trump: (04:32)
It’s certainly possible, and maybe they do it in a different way. Maybe they’d give it back to the states. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’ve been surprised. I’ve been surprised by some of the rulings that we’ve already had over the last year. You think you know somebody and then you get rulings that are a little bit different than you think could happen. So you never know what’s going to happen. Mostly, I’m looking for somebody that can interpret the Constitution as written. We say it all the time. And she is very strong on that. And it will be very interesting.
Donald Trump: (05:06)
Also our Second Amendment. I feel I know what she’s doing on Second Amendment, but I can’t really speak for her. And again, I’m picking a person. She’s going to have to rule the way she feels. But the Second Amendment is under siege if Joe Biden got in, in any way, if he would have, because I can’t imagine if that’s going to happen, but your Second Amendment is going to be gone. And it’s going to be gone quickly, I think. So we can’t let that happen. But they’ll probably be ruling on Second Amendment and various other things. They say it’s the most important thing a president can do. I don’t know if that’s true. I mean, I would say military. You might agree with me on military protection.
Pete Hegseth: (05:49)
Donald Trump: (05:49)
But they say the selection of a Supreme Court Justice is the most important thing. And the other thing, by the end of the term, we’ll have almost 300 federal judges and court of appeals judges, which is a record. So we will have had a great impact on the court system going forward.
Pete Hegseth: (06:07)
When you consider what you’ve been through here in these last three and a half years, you’ve got, you’re a tough guy, you’ve got thick skin. People have been coming at you. What’s your advice to someone like Amy Coney Barrett, who’s about to go through them. [crosstalk 00:06:20].
Donald Trump: (06:20)
Yeah. It’s such a great question. It’s just, you can’t answer it. But I do believe that in a way, Justice Kavanaugh was a pioneer. What he went through was so horrible. False accusations, and he’s such a gentleman the way he handled it, but nobody was, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody for any position treated the way he was treated. And so viciously by Harris and all of them. The way they spoke to this man was so horrible. And I actually think it makes it easier for Amy. I think they can’t do that again. They can never get away with it. Nobody’s ever been treated so badly as Justice Kavanaugh, at that time, Judge Kavanaugh. I will say this, Judge Gorsuch, at the time Judge Gorsuch, he was treated pretty tough. Got through it strongly. He did a great job. But the way Judge Kavanaugh was treated was, I’ve never seen. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve seen some bad treatment. I have never seen anything like that. I think that makes it a lot easier for Amy.
Pete Hegseth: (07:25)
Do you think they can resist it, Mr. President? Let’s say, the resume holds up and there is no obvious attack. The left seems to believe the ends justify the means. Personal destruction is justified to pursue their political power. Could they resist and hold back? Is that possible [crosstalk 00:00:07:44]?
Donald Trump: (07:43)
I don’t know if they can hold back, but I think they don’t look good if they go crazy again. They went crazy. They went, what they did was crazy. And we had a couple of people that weren’t real fighters on our side. And they’re gone. They’re gone. I wonder where they went, but they’re no longer with us, and that’s a good thing. We have, I think we have great, the Republican Party is very united in this. Lindsey Graham, every one of our members, they’re tremendous. Mitch. We speak all the time.
Pete Hegseth: (08:17)
Did you think Mitch McConnell would be this, play this big of a role in cementing your legacy? Three big justices.
Donald Trump: (08:24)
Well, we worked very closely together and it’s been pretty amazing. Look, we have, there’s never been anything like it. If you think, again, by the end of, we have 40 or 50, we have many people in there waiting to be confirmed right now for federal judgeships. That’s a big deal. A federal judgeship. And don’t forget, President Obama left us over 100. It’s unheard of. He left us over 100 because he probably thought that Crooked Hillary who was going to win. And in which case it wouldn’t have mattered too much. I guess that’s what he assumed. But he left us a lot. So we will have a record. And that’s a, very record, that’s a very important record. Again, judges and justices, especially justices of the Supreme Court. And to think that I’d have three in one term.
Pete Hegseth: (09:12)
Democrats are threatening to pack the Court. What would you, that would be the fastest way to try to undo this legacy issue? How would you take [inaudible 00:09:20]?
Donald Trump: (09:20)
Well, the only way they can do that if they win the presidency and they have to win the Senate. And I’ll tell you, I think we’re doing really well. There’s a great hidden majority. I call it hidden, you can call it a silent majority, but it’s not really silent. It’s very, you see the rallies. Our people showed up last night in Virginia. We’re looking at Virginia very strongly. We think Virginia is in play and you saw the people that showed up last night. We had probably 35,000 people show up at an airport on a short notice. So we think there’s a lot of things going on out there that, much more so than even four years ago. Four years ago, you knew it better, you saw it early Pete, but four years ago we had tremendous enthusiasm. It’s much more now. It’s much more this year.
Pete Hegseth: (09:59)
Confirmation hearing scheduled October 12th. You anticipate to have her confirmed before the election?
Donald Trump: (10:06)
I would like to. I would say we have plenty of time, just in case your next question would be, well, should you wait? They wouldn’t wait, number one. And importantly, we have a lot of time. We also could go after. We have tremendous amount of time. And it’s been done many times before this way. It’s an election year. No, I think we’re going to have it done easily before the election. I think it would be nice to do, get it out of the way. It’s so important a decision. I think it’s important. We’re going to try to have it done quickly and before the election. But think of all the time. So then you have, from that day, you have all the way to January 20th. So I mean, who would not do this? They say, well, why don’t you wait for the next? Well, elections have consequences. And we won the election. We have the Senate. We have the presidency. So I think, I think she’ll be confirmed before, and probably long before the election, relatively long before the election.
Pete Hegseth: (11:02)
The debate’s coming up. Everyone’s going to be watching. How are you preparing, specifically, Mr. President?
Donald Trump: (11:07)
I think I prepare every day. I think when you’re President, you sort of see everything that they’re going to be asking and they may disagree with you, but we’ve done a great job. We created the greatest economy in history and there’s never been, from an employment standpoint, from every standpoint, and now it’s coming back. We closed it. We saved millions and millions of lives by doing what I did. And now we’re bringing it back. It’s a V. It’s a V-shape, which is, it’s maxed out. I mean, we’re setting records on employment and everything else. Even the stock market. Look how high the stock market is. And we’re rounding the turn. They hate when I say that, the opposition, but we are. We’re rounding the turn on the pandemic. And very incredibly, we have some of the great vaccines, great companies, and we’re going to have different vaccines, very powerful vaccines, great vaccines and therapeutics, but this is all happening very, very soon. So we’re in great shape, but we built the greatest economy in history, and now we’re doing it again. We’re doing it rapidly. And I think next year, we’re going to have a great third quarter, by the way. And next year I think is going to be one of the greatest years we’ve ever had on the economy. And it’s going to, it’s really very exciting, actually.
Pete Hegseth: (12:17)
Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for joining us on Fox and Friends.
Donald Trump: (12:20)
Thank you very much.
Pete Hegseth: (12:20)
Congratulations on a very historic day.
Donald Trump: (12:22)
Thank you very much, Pete.