President Donald Trump suggested his coming Supreme Court pick could trigger decisions that would make abortion illegal in some states, and said Republicans want to pass more tax cuts aimed at the middle class just weeks before voters will decide which party controls the House and Senate.
As an increasing number of congressional Democrats, including some expected 2020 presidential candidates, call for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be abolished or substantially overhauled, Trump made clear he intends to make that a major midterm campaign issue.
Asked by Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday morning if he will ask Supreme Court nominee candidates their views on landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, Trump replied: “Probably not.” But he said he will be “putting conservative people” on the high court during his presidency, and said abortion rights “very well could end up” being decided on a state-by-state basis “at some point.”
But Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate GOP senator whose vote could make or break the coming nomination, said Sunday she would not support any nominee who voices an intention to take down the Roe v. Wade decision.
The GOP president said he expects the coming confirmation process will be “very vicious,” blaming Democrats for, in his words, only being interested in blocking his agenda and nominees. Still, however, he said he expects some Senate Democrats will support his coming nominee.
Trump also continued to be in campaign mode with the House and Senate up for grabs in November’s congressional elections. And he again signaled he views immigration – as well as the GOP tax law he signed in December – as a winning issue for Republicans and a weak spot for Democrats.
“Between Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi and getting rid of ICE and having open borders … all it’s going to do is lead to massive, massive crime,” he said of the two California Democrats. “That’s going to be their platform: open borders, which equals crime. I don’t think they’ll win another election. I’m actually quite happy about it.”
The president often makes the claim that allowing more migrants into the United States automatically spikes the crime rate, a contention many experts and Democratic members say is false.
He called ICE and Border Patrol agents “incredible patriots” who “liberate towns,” a continuation of his claim that the MS-13 gang and others from Central and South America are trying to “invade” the country.
Meantime, the White House and Republicans plan to pursue a second round of tax cuts “probably in October,” Trump said in an interview that aired Sunday. The envisioned package, which would move just weeks before the midterm election, would be targeted for the middle class while also proposing to lower the corporate rate from 21 percent to 20 percent.
He repeated a line he uses at campaign rallies, saying Democrats want to raise taxes on average Americans.
The president is headed to Europe next week, where he will visit several longtime U.S. allies and participate in a NATO summit before a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller,” Trump said when asked why he will not partner with EU countries to pressure the Xi government to change its trade practices. He contended the EU treats the United States just as unfairly as China on trade matters.
And on the Justice Department’s ongoing special counsel investigation of Russia’s 2016 election meddling and House Republicans’ demands for documents related to that investigation, the president said this: “I might get involved.”
Watch: Decoding the High Court Confirmation Process: 2 Things Trump Needs to Worry About