In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network pitching himself as the last remaining defender of religious freedom, President Donald Trump said he was “surprised” by the Supreme Court’s decision protecting LGBTQ people against employment discrimination.
Trump also lamented other recent Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with the stances adopted by his administration, and cast his re-election as essential to placing more conservative judges on the nation’s highest court.
Speaking with CBN News reporter David Brody, Trump said he was “surprised” by the Supreme Court’s LGBTQ people decision, particularly the fact that one of his own appointees, Neil Gorsuch, wrote the majority opinion.
“I was surprised. I was surprised. Some people felt that it was a decision that they weren’t as surprised as I was, yeah I was surprised,” Trump said in the interview.
Asked about whether Chief Justice John Roberts was “the new Anthony Kennedy” or “potentially worse,” Trump lamented some recent decisions by the high court that sided against his administration.
“Well, so far we’re not doing too well. It says, look, we’ve had a lot of losses with a Court that was supposed to be in our favor. This is just to show what it means,” Trump said.
He also suggested that there could be “three or four” Supreme Court seats that open up over the course of the next four years, underscoring the importance of his re-election for evangelical Christians who comprise one of the largest — and most loyal — parts of the Republican Party’s base.
“You know, you’ll probably have a couple of more judges in the next four years, it could even be more than that, could be three or four,” he said. “If you have a radical Left group of judges, religion I think will be almost wiped out in America. If you look at it, pro-life will be absolutely wiped out.”
EXCLUSIVE: President Trump tells me he was, "surprised" by Neil Gorsuch's LGBT ruling, weighs in on John Roberts too. Watch a clip from my White House sit-down interview today with @realDonaldTrump . @POTUS @CBNNews @WhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/BW9LJJZSMG
— David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) June 22, 2020
Opining on what a Biden candidacy would mean for people of faith, Trump again tried to cast a Democratic presidency as an existential threat to the evangelical movement and other people of faith — a move designed to energize social conservatives ahead of November’s election in order to overcome his flagging poll numbers.
“If Biden gets in, look, he’s not going to do it. Joe is shot. Somebody, whoever is going to be running the party is going to put radical Left judges on the Supreme Court and all over the court system,” he said. “I think I’ll have close to 300 judges by the time I finish my first term, hopefully, a lot more than that, but it’s a record number and we have pro-life judges, and you look at the Supreme Court, they’re pro-life, so we’ll see what happens.”
In a question as to whether God put him in office at a crucial point in the nation’s history, Trump hedged, instead claiming that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson told him as much when they were competing for the Republican nomination.
“[H]e said to me, ‘You know, you’re going to win.’ I said, ‘Ben, I’m running against you. What are you telling me?’ He said, ‘You’re going to win, because God put you here for this occasion.’ I said, ‘what a lovely thing to say,'” Trump recounted, praising Carson’s work in his administration.
“Do you buy that?” Brody followed up.
“I almost don’t even want to think about it because you know what? I hope it’s true,” Trump said. “All I’m going to do is I’m going to do my best and part of what I’m doing my best on is for the religious community, beyond evangelical, evangelicals a very big part is very important to me…. I just hope I get tremendous evangelical Christian support and I’m not saying this as a bragging thing, nobody has done more for religion than I have.”
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