Trump Stakes Out Position on Abortion to the Left of His GOP Opponents, Calls DeSantis’ 6-Week Limit ‘A Terrible Mistake’

President Donald Trump staked out a position on abortion to the left of his GOP rivals in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.


President Donald Trump staked out a position on abortion to the left of his GOP rivals in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

  • Trump, who appointed three of the six justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, now says “I don’t frankly care” about whether abortion policy is decided at the state for federal level.
  • He criticized other Republicans who “speak very inarticulately about this subject.” He predicted that Republicans who refuse to support exceptions for rape and incest were “not going to win on this issue” as most Democrats “don’t want to be radical” about abortion.
  • Trump acknowledged that a 15-week ban is “a number that people are talking about right now” but said he would not sign a 15-week ban into law as president. He blasted Gov. Ron DeSantis for passing a 6-week ban in Florida, calling it “a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
  • The former president said he preferred to be a “mediator” on the issue and refused to take a clear position on when abortion should be legal. “What’s going to happen is you’re going to come up with a number of weeks or months,” Trump told Kristen Welker, the new host of “Meet the Press.”
  • “You’re going to come up with a number that’s going to make people happy,” Trump promised. He pledged to “sit down with both sides” and negotiate a deal on America’s most divisive culture war issue that would lead to “peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years.”
  • The 77-year-old former president refused to say that President Joe Biden, 80, is too old to serve. He did agree with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call for mental competency tests for elected officials.
  • Other newsworthy tidbits from the interview included Trump’s statement that he was not afraid of going to prison and concession that he was “very unlikely” to attempt to pardon himself. Trump also distanced himself from Congressional Republicans’ efforts to impeach President Biden.
  • He also refused to get pinned down on how he would handle the war in Ukraine, aside from promising that he’d “make a fair deal for everybody.” He was similarly evasive when asked whether he’d defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression, merely saying “I don’t take anything off the table.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • NBC News published a “fact check” from their interview with Trump, despite his comment during the interview where he claimed, “I have all the facts.” They fact-checked his claims about 15 million immigrants “flooding” into the US, but it’s unclear whether the status quo that NBC acknowledges – 2.5 million Border Patrol encounters, on pace to break the all-time record set in 2022 (which was more than 1 million encounters more than the previous record) – is really any better. NBC also fact-checked Trump’s claim that people who never entered the Capitol got long sentences – true – but insisted that despite Trump’s statement being accurate, he was lacking in “critical context.”
  • Trump staked out a similar position on abortion when addressing two social conservative organizations late last week. As Politico observed, Trump told the Concerned Women of America leadership summit that ““We can win elections on this issue, but it’s very delicate and explaining it properly is an extremely important thing. You have to be able to speak and explain it properly. A lot of politicians who are pro-life don’t know how to discuss this topic.” He repeated his concerns to the Family Research Council’s Pray, Vote, Stand conference later that day.
  • Not all of Trump’s criticisms were directed at Republicans. Axios noted that Trump did attack some Democrats as “radical” on the issue, pointing to states like New York that allow exceptions after 24 weeks and some Democratic politicians’ support for abortion during all 9 months of a pregnancy.



  • The Editors of National Review condemned Trump’s “terrible abortion comments.” Trump’s pledge for “peace” issue is “laudable,” they wrote, but pointed out that “tens of millions of Americans prioritize peace in the womb: an end to the violence of abortion… If the debate is to end, it will have to be because pro-lifers give up, lose influence, or persuade enough of our fellow citizens to prevail. Trump’s goal appears to be one or both of the first two outcomes, but none of them is in prospect.”
  • The New York Post highlighted Trump’s comments from that same interview where he claimed that “I don’t consider us to have much of a democracy right now” after his 2020 defeat. Trump instead claims he wants “a democracy that’s fair,” but did not expand further on what would make democracy “fair” besides him winning an election.
  • Breitbart emphasized another portion of that interview where Trump claimed then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “responsible” for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump, who was commander-in-chief at the time, blamed Pelosi for the lack of National Guard troops at the Capitol and said that he didn’t “realize anything until quite a while” that the National Guard was not present when the rioters were attacking the building. Despite his admitted lack of attention to the situation at the Capitol, Trump still answered, “Yes. Absolutely,” when asked if he thought he “showed leadership on that day.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023