Trump distances himself from Alabama abortion ban

Pres. Trump tweeted he is pro-life with the exception in cases of rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother.
28:53 | 05/20/19

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Transcript for Trump distances himself from Alabama abortion ban
Everybody welcome to the brink your mama had Devin Dwyer of their senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce or to have you with us today a lot to get you talk about. Fallout of the over the abortion wars in this country we have presidential candidate Marianne Williamson standing by. Hubbell also head out to the US naval academy for tradition and off. Mary Bruce Hollis very close to that 88 year war tradition in the making where those cadets. Klein the recall it's lined obelisk in the university where does not. You without fear for that story but our Stephanie Ramos is live out in Annapolis probably are coming up but first. The fallout from that flurry of state abortion restrictions passed in the past week are Bruce you've been following these. Very closely demonstrators out on the streets of Alabama today we some over the weekend you've been reporting on this Planned Parenthood plans. A big good day of demonstrations tomorrow. Lot of 20/20 Democrats now embracing this fight goes well. How this debate is now going to be a huge hot topic out on the campaign drew dining you don't have more than a dozen states that a past new restrictions. On abortion the debate is now back front and center and you see what's so interesting now is a lot of democratic candidates arguing that they should be dealt with beyond the court saying that they that they want congress. To tackle this issue that they are calling for new legislation. So that states it. And in in essence turn to preempt states and their ability to pass these strict new fans which you know in some cases as we weren't talking. Even the Republicans are now putting some distance between themselves and just yet we have the president tweet over the weekend catching a lot of people regard he did at directly address the Alabama law or the Missouri law that this is what he said. Not. Mincing words he says he strongly pro life he says with three exceptions. Rape incest in protecting the life of the mother adding we must stick together and win for life in 20/20 a lot of people merry paying attention there. Noting that he's drawing a pretty big distinction with these most extreme measures of the past week distancing himself. The president hears essentially suggesting that some of these strict new bands have gone too far and while he didn't name any names they're you know those exceptions are not included. In some of the strictest bans in Alabama in Missouri there are no exceptions in cases of rape or incest the only exception both of those new laws or in the case if the mother's health. And life is in danger so the president there is joining some other top Republican some leaders in the evangelical to digital for Republican problem I don't wanna be talking about isn't it ought to be the extremists and -- a tough spot I think that they are aware of the fact that they are you know trying to address some of the concerns even within the Republican community that some of these. Laws do go too far. But look while the president may be taking issue with some parts of some of these new bands he's also made very clear that he is promising to were overturn Roe vs. Wade and he said he's going to do that by putting. Anti abortion justices on the court and that's a promise that he asked to filled so. You know it's fascinating story or your continue to follow mayor Bruce thank you. As Murray alluded to their women across the country speaking out rising up against this flurry of state laws more than 200 women. If Alabama specifically an extraordinary publication of assays. Wrote op Eds in three of Alabama's major newspapers put us not just the substance. Of the law but the fact that. In Alabama at least 25 net and. Where the votes in favor of the bill no women there one of those women. In Alabama who publish one of these op Eds over the weekend in this show of force if you will is Randy pink she's a Birmingham based novelist she joins us now live from Alabama she. Penned a poem. In the paper this week and ready it's great to see you. I tell us about that moment last week when you first heard that this law had finally gone into effect. Well I was actually into Birmingham copy shop right at my third not all. And I got a notification amount won't Betsy hit twenty acme Guillen tens of nearly restricted abortion and you're steady. And analysts should shaking it and I'm. I close my laptop win out some car and just sat in Alabama heat. I'm the only way I can't express how oil spill in the millions that was to take ink and to paper. And write that poem. It's an about a half minutes are right when I posted on Twitter at some light on and still still go win. Yeah it it it sure is powerful. And I think it speaks to a lot. The pain that women feel in this debate in what message. So we understand and in folks who go online and read the poem that it's it's a beautiful piece but what message are you trying to send with that. Well. Just. I'm born and raised Alabama I'm from hero Rudy here. And I think it's important. Or. The nation and maybe even internationally for people and now that we're not I'll let her wrists you know I mean you. There can't we have Buena all. Progressive views conservative views. A lot of our views are gerrymandered and it's a little clumps so you don't really hear from monks. End. It's important to know bad. Alabama is not only those when he asked me. It's us two. And and you know so many abortion you alluded to this that so many of the abortions at opponents. In your state including your governor few know governor KIV. Hats seem to have such deeply held amicus is sincere beliefs that the fetus is a person. The do you -- and your personal do you find those beliefs to be sincere and how do you bridge that divide. In in your community among people who support or oppose. This for a controversial practice. Mir. Well. Personal I'll I don't know anybody who's pro abortion. Stance that's not a thing nobody wants. But those facts the hard difficult back. He is regardless of where you stand on this issue. Well one man. A young girl who does not want a baby in her body as it awaits a read her Bible and the fetus and what are we want to college. I was literally wrote the book on am girls like. Ronald woods comes out. Let it. She's gonna create her body of that where this goes in the Barack brewers with a grassy hangar or. Find somebody to do it Santa teary eyes and year end. It's a set up basically and I think even the most. Science. Believed birders. Can really just look at the past look at history and see. That's what happens when you take away safe option. In in how concerned are you Randy at this point that the Supreme Court might roll back. Some of these protections for for abortions in this country. Well like ASEAN. I felt this in the solely all. In the area they're at an Alabama. It was a rats in the three years and years. And I thank. People are just that certainty law we're looking for an opportunity to pull the trigger on it. Like I asked if this was written a year ago. It's about what we're talking about now girls create Brody when he figured out how to read their bodies and report I. So. I'm concerned. I'm also very much of power outlet or use they -- that konduz do in. Back how light into our injured when they include an ill. And help in the world and thank you for her happened needs to let the little narrow that we're not all hat. Thank you so much. Randi thanks for sharing your opinion page for the poetry and think of return as some of Richard thank you. They're and I'm joined now by democratic presidential candidate best selling author and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson great to have you here in the briefing room thank you so much for coming and I happen to pick pick up where the conversation left off here on abortion. You have called abortion a moral issue in this country. Can you support abortion rights for women what would you do as president to address this tirade of state laws restricting. Access the first of all I agree entirely with your with your last gas. And did as she was saying there's also a moral issue involved with what will happen if Roe vs. Wade is overturned ritual in the we'll continue how safe abortions in this country. And women who cannot afford better we'll have back Alley or the equivalent back Alley abortions there will be great suffering great harm and even death. As president I would do everything possible everything possible to shore up a woman's right to choose. I do think abortion is more election but it's a private moral issue and I don't think the government to have anything to do. Wind a woman's decision of what to do. I believe that most women do consult their own consciences they understand and and I don't think the government should have anything to do with factoring into the decision. Statement from the spiritual standpoint are on the question. How do you it weighs in question I asked it to Randy how do you. It's prisoner at situated unbelievable platform yes even as an author you do how do you bridge the divide in this is such a passionate. Divisive issue in this country how you bridge that divide between people who have such sincere belief that the fetus as a person yes in the eyes of god. Yes I understand the well first of all I think of as president I would definitely be standing for the fat. The people should feel protected from any encroachment by government on to their private moral decisions that's number one. In terms of my my feelings about this you know one of the most. One of the most dramatic and and powerful moment I ever had in my career was in. Sacramento California many years ago. And the subject of abortion can mine and my first thought was let's get off that sucked then my next thought was. Would cute he'll. Until I admit to that god doesn't need anyone to give they're there opinion about this but that sometimes we come to god emptying on lines. And give yourself. Did give yourself to the emptiness at this moment we said a prayer we had two minutes of silence and at the end of that people should merit. There were people who share from the disposition that we call pro life for I'd call anti choice and there were people who share from the position of pro choice. But they shared a dig deeper level than most people go to him. And I'm absolutely sure that there were people that night who heard. The people who disagreed with them at a deeper level. And a certain level that is the answer listen the vast majority of people that's like your last guest was saying. Someone who is pro choice that doesn't mean your pro abortion I think the vast majority of Americans do find. Cows were more abortion the idea that has we'll abortion as a kind of moral anathema but I don't believe that most women half. Casual abortion so let's let's separate we need to separate the issue of the private more Alicia. And I do believe it is a deep knowledge of a litmus test for us your nominees to the Supreme Court wells it I just and they believe that I would not wish to see Roe vs. Wade overturned absolutely and I also understand if you are asking the last gasp. This attempted a wealthy. There's a chance it will be before I get to the one you've been running for office if pressing the United States now for several weeks and on the trail they kept out in Iowa get well really attempt on your Sitka AUC. A hint at a South Carolina and it. All of I was why do you want to be president I want to be president because I want this country to return to its mission statement. I want public policy to be aligned again with our deeper more buyers are deeply democratic values are dipping humanitarian ties. I want this country to once again work as a democracy and on as a veiled aristocracy. Where our government is doing more to abdicate for short term corporate profits than for. The well being of the people of this country and the world in the planet on which we live. You've never held elective office he did run for congress and California a few years ago for a particular fourth. Found and you he didn't interview afterward without jungle primary it was a young met hundreds if there was an idea they were asked to see sixteen candidate there. That you sat down with Oprah Winfrey a good friend after the fact you talked about the conversation. That you were. Candidacy started and that that was important you hearing at the quote here that what's what's big is the larger conversation gates is to impact the eaters and that energy that goes somewhere. Do you see that your candidacy now ends being anything more than. Starting an important conversation isn't important to you to win. Well it's important that I absolutely be prepared to win and then I make the effort to win this is not a moment to play with people's emotions. Oh or two to play with their money and if people are giving you 165000 dollar absolutely you have a responsibility absolutely on the idea that elevate the just elevate the conversation we need to elevate this country. And the conversation the deeper compensate that I was talking about there is the essence of this campaign political establishment has a very superficial conversation. We will not be able to transform only pair this country until we get down and have a much deeper conversation about what has happened here how we have deviated from the note that the nation. From the notion of the nation. A government of the people by the people and for the people sued the government of the core prison by the progress was the toughest a lot of your democratic rivals are seeing similar theme song at a policy level yes who's the toughest when you've got it you've got to be teeth and beating anybody and the pain continue when I'm running with a lot of really Smart people but I stand for re at an actual pattern disruption of the political and economic strategy we cannot. Democrats should impeach president from. I think they're two separate questions one has he committed impeachable offenses and one should they in Pete hasn't committed impeachable offenses yes I believe he happened. Shouldn't they impeach isn't much is a question that has much more politics in it because the Republican senate would not remove him from office anyway. I feel confident that the democratic house. Is planned this correctly and was fine. They are playing the role of their constitutional their hat and there are legitimate constitutional authority they're going all the way in terms of further investigation into the Mullen report etc. And time. They'll make a profit analysts question I used when I ask you a foreign policy since you're here I'm Ron is obviously in the news right now yes and injured a topic. We unique of the situation to run how dangerous do you think it is would you sit down with the right can be trusted. Well for for first of all the president has said repeatedly on call may call me notice there are calling back let's talk about how this whole thing started this whole thing started because the president. Left the Iran deal OK so one of the reasons Iran's not calling back as they're saying well he reneged on and on the agreement we had last time so why should we trust you and go into another agreement now. I feel that it was a very reckless move to two to take ourselves out of the Iran deal I think these sanctions a very very. Especially this last round is very dangerous I think that it is unreported or under reported to the American people what the United States has done. Two to actually exacerbate the situation. And that is part of the problem part of the problem is that the Saber rattling towards Iran like the Saber rattling towards Venezuela. It's really just like a Saber rattling towards Iraq just like the Saber rattling towards it and in Vietnam. I believe is reckless ugly has already we've already seen in both Vietnam and in Iraq. The danger of a foreign policy like that that is based on more of a cowboy militarism than on serious sober wiz don't. And I think the American people need to remember Iran has one of the largest armies and. Mary monks and take you so much for coming in the briefing a pleasure meeting at Grayson. Our viewers set here at your candidacy we'll have much more an ABC news lives and great to have you with us thank you so much. A shifting gears now on the topic of Iran as these tensions asked way with Iran the president adding some fuel to the fire over the weekend with this. Pretty extraordinary tweet ratcheting up the rhetoric the president says if Iran wants to fight. That will be the official end. Of Iran. Never threaten the United States of America again of course he has expedited deployment of US troops to the region talked about this troop. Draw up plans all of this raising some new questions about what a conflict with Iran could look like in what might be motivating his latest crash. For more on this let's bring in Marcus will for his or managing editor. Of international news surety ABC news in just back from Iran. Also want to bring in we've Martinez so our senior pentagon reporter for more on this as well mark it's great to see you were just back. From the capital bare how did they view this crisis do you get the sense that preparations. Are being made on their end for a very real conflict with the United States. Well when you talk to people in Tehran not officials but keep a portable ordinary people. This is very much on their mind they are asking themselves. All we can to war with the US there are asking themselves what kind around brackets rolled hopeless government. Do about it. Com and when and this is the really big issue for them for most ordinary people and when will lease sanctions and it. They do feel the tension rising. That angry about it. And they are confused. As to what happens next. They preparing for. Up a conflict I would say that's that's difficult to assess I think. The government's rhetoric. Let's them know that tension is rising. And I think officials. Are coming out with a Fannie consistent message message. And it is interesting being. A foreigner and in Tehran that people come to talk to you. They want to give you this message whether that local to weather that are officials. And the officials say things that they're like this they say America must never forget. One and H&M pile we are we not just the nation. We have contacts in Afghanistan on we have Shiites in Syria. We have. Shiites in the raw we have them in minority populations or across the gulf. We have them in Yemen all these people if you attack costs will rise up. And defend us and help us America has no idea they say. How strongly on how strong all Willy is. And how how strongly we will defend ourselves. And a lot of that is rhetoric and we have some not rhetoric actually from the Foreman is that today in his that's the UN but as a as you as you walk through Tyrone you realize what a huge huge city it is so much power and Tyrone is roughly eight point seven million people. But why they arrive and areas need fifteen million people. Just imagine trying to quell will control. A city a metropolis of that size within invading fools. When that population is or riled up with burn religious anger the invent and the invaders presence. That's an impossible minute free tossed. Tomorrow mines yeah and it. And it really important context to particularly as our conversation with this sort of flow of news reports on this story. Make comparisons to the Iraq War of 20032 very different situation Marcus it's as important. A point of reference and we Martinez on that point how would military conflict with Iran be different. From what we saw in Iraq in 2003 lot of comparisons but it it would be quite significant we're not. It would be dead in the one of the things emissions lea street off of a point here is that we are talking about deterrence right now. All of the military knows he aircraft carried a B 52 is possibly even additional moves over the coming weeks. Are all intended to deter Iran from activity that was spotted by US satellites. Taking into the next step is planning for well. Including US invasion underwent be undertaken life as it was steering. Iraq. Very different scenario if any thing. I think we talking about this last week we're talking about is to the United States carrying out some kind of air strikes. In terms because. No one's talking about Iran no one's talking about regime change with the Ron. When we're talking about is deterrence and one of the lazy do that is through air strikes but if heaving if you were to take it to try to escalated as market product. Very difficult to do. Very different layout in terms of land. Com and how you can even gather forces for something like that so that's that's something that no one is here at the Pentagon is talking about if any thing. That something you know they probably don't even want to think about but at the same time oddly messaging and the only planning is underway right now is strictly for to turn. Yeah and the president obviously leaving that military difference on the table. He in in spite of the real possibility Louie as you pointed out here. That there is a risk of miscalculation misunderstanding something good could go off so we know you're watching the situation very closely thanks for that context Louie. Appreciate it very much the Capitol Hill now and our thanks to Marcus Wilford. As well we should say over in London for us up to Capitol Hill now and for the first time talk of impeachment of president from. Involves a Republican member of congress just in a mosh they Republican congressman from Michigan tweeted over the weekend that. He would read the entirety of the Muller reporting concluded on his own the president trump had engaged in specific actions. At a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold from four impeachment. A mosh becomes the first Republican now to break our break ranks with the GOP in call for the president's impeachment. Our for more on this in what it could mean is our Ben Siegel our Capitol Hill reporter he's been staked out outside of our congressman a mosh his office today trying to get a chance to ask him some more questions about his views I've been great to see is so. Will put this into some context for us how significant is it that a Republican is now making this call. Well mosh is the first Republican as he said to do this than and in which case it is pretty significant is so far. We've only heard from Democrats on capitol who called for the president's impeachment. And it's important because democratic leader speaker Nancy Pelosi Jerry Nadler the chairman of the committee that would take up impeachment. They say that for anything for any effort to move forward to be seriously considered it has to have some measure of bipartisan support. Whether that's in the public or the congress so in some senses this is a very big step that you now have a Republican who's breaking ranks with his party. Which is largely loyal to the president and Republican voters almost 90% of them are loyal to this president and he's now saying that what he read in the more report specifically around the the portion on obstruction of justice meets the threshold for impeachment but in another sense you have to keep in mind who just in a marches. He's somebody who is very clear to his principles and sticks to his guns. He which means on Capitol Hill he doesn't have many friends he is not well liked by leadership and I doesn't have many people in his corner. In the capital so and 1010 honey hand this is very surprising on the other hand it's little surprising it took this long because he has been one of the few Republicans. Who's actually been willing to go out and criticize the president were you think he runs afoul of his belief in conservative principles. Yeah he did get some backing though from you toss senator Republican senator Mitt Romney over the weekend who said. That he called a mind shift for Europe called wash out rather for making a cool what a courageous statement. With that tweets a little bit of defense they're richer right then that. Just in a -- taking some heat from the president called him a loser a total lightweight. On all of this is sparking some discussion about whether we just in a mosh might actually be interest and are running against president trump and twenty twining. What do you know about that an agent. Yes. So the congressman was asked about this priest live a few weeks go he did not rule out such a run as a libertarian. You know solely on principle but it looks like if you run for reelection. In congress he'll be in for a fight to today we had a Michigan State legislator described himself. As they approach from Republican announce a primary bid against a mosh to unseat him now a much hasn't had. A challenge and a primary in a few years he beat back the last one in 2014. But as we know president trump won Michigan's would be interesting to see. How that shakes out and also today. Even though Romney senator Romney was you know praising his position we've we've heard from a couple Republicans including the number two Republican in the house Steve Scully to said that. A march's reading of the mullah report was wrong and that there was about it bad call that he's made now Al coming out and criticizing president. All right we'll stay on that story we'll see if any more I dominoes fall on the Republican side when it comes to impeach or Ben Siegel thank you so much for your reporting there. I finally today a lighter note here in the briefing room would take a look at an eighty year tradition art at the US naval academy in Annapolis this is. A one that closes out the year there when the freshman class this one. The class of 20/20 three I think are challenged to climb a greased obelisk. On the school squad 21 feet vertical slip and slide of sorts that thing is covered. In Greece law are not step trying to crown it with a hat. I was out there today watching the play by play you might have caught some of it here and ABC news live Stephanie. So I you have the most fun assignment of the day this was this is a bit of a competition between classes though right they've they've run out clock on this and these pressing to do a pretty fast. Absolutely DeVon you nailed it that this was time to that plot was to begin and we were watching and its crew of the class. That's 18 funny too. These this freshman group they did it in one how work. In five minutes so they broke last year's record to collect the money is right behind me here over my shoulder you can see some of the lard is still there at this up. Bully those students that you know why the company more critic just go all that talk quiet and go after the plead hot which was positioned right there at the top now freshman they're called pleased to hear that a little a little Dixie cup had as what they call it. And they have to replace that catch up with an upper classmen cover they did that again they did it in one hour and five minutes but that is what's left. When it's pretty muddy down here at the base. The monument in a lot of the students top singing you I'm sure you watch earlier a lot of the students topping their white T shirt. The wet white T shirt to kind of get some of that law are off the upperclassmen here on the side hosing them down making it much more typical for this group to get to the top. But they did. Now the record time to complete the task was set back in 1972. That group did it in one minute and thirty seconds. By the way there was no grease youths that year or so they had a little bit of an advantage there but the longest time to step back and in 1988 that class sitting in about four hours. And add. Here they actually the upperclassmen actually concluded that Dixie cup hat so that's hot so making it much more difficult since then. They were allowed to do that anymore. And again last year's group did it in about two hours. Today's group class of 20/20 21 hour in five minutes and a lot of the students tell me that they use their leadership skills the perseverance. And the determination. That they have gained over this past year at their freshman year to cut as a group and use that teamwork to get to the top they formed. Sort of human pyramid to got to work their way up there there were plenty and plenty of all. But they made it up there and at the and everyone singing the navy anthem here on the school ground a huge accomplishment for this group their parents their families were here they were also thrilled. And looking forward to the next couple years here at the US Naval Academy. Gotta have for sure an important rite of passage of farm on a watch for sure Stephanie Ramos very reporting and anchoring play by play. Out there today you can catch the replays here on ABC news live as well thanks to Stephanie thank you for joining us on this Monday here in the briefing room and ABC news live you can. Download the ABC news asked if you haven't got to even Collins live 24/7 and the latest. Ottawa's first we talked about today as well we're back here tomorrow at 3:30 eastern and 5:30 eastern time hope you join us then.

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