President Donald Trump sat down with Fox News for an interview that aired Sunday. He discussed a wide variety of issues, from his upcoming decision on who to nominate to the Supreme Court to a defense of his summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
Here are the highlights:.
1) The Supreme Court
The president reaffirmed his plan to move quickly with a nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He has said he would announce his pick on July 9. He said he “probably won’t” ask potential candidates about whether they would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion in the United States.
2) Abolish ICE
Trump said some ongoing attacks of Immigration and Customs Enforcement would lead to Democratic losses in the November midterm elections. His comment comes just days after progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic primary. Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives have campaigned on abolishing the agency, and now some prominent Democrats — including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a potential 2020 contender — have joined in on the calls for getting rid of the agency.
“Well I hope they keep thinking about it,” Trump said. “Because they’re going to get beaten so badly. You know ICE, these are the guys that go in and take MS-13, and they take them out. Because they’re much tougher than MS-13, like by a factor of 10.
“And these are the ones – you get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house,” he said.
The comments build off a claim by the president that ICE has “liberated” towns from MS-13. But while ICE has arrested hundreds of MS-13 gang members in recent months, according to data provided to The New York Times, the law enforcement agency has a broader mission.
The calls for getting rid of the agency come as the Trump administration continues to enforce a “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting adults who illegally cross the border. The policy led to family separations and drew backlash around the country.
3) Tax reform
The president touted the tax overhaul he signed back in December, his only legislative victory to date. He said there would be a “part 2” rolled out in the coming months.
“We’re doing a phase two,” Trump said. “We’ll be doing it probably in October, maybe a little sooner than that, and it’ll be more of a middle class — we did a lot for the middle class, but this will be even more aimed at the middle class. One of the things we’re thinking about is bringing the 21 percent down to 20 and for the most part, the rest of it will go right to the middle class. It’s a great stimulus.”.
The president is referring to bringing the corporate tax rate down from 21 percent to 20 percent.
4) Trade deals
“The big thing I’m focused on now is trade,” he said. “I have to straighten out trade deals… We have some of the worst trade deals in the world.
“We lose money with everybody. When someone walks up and says how much do we lose with this country? We lose with everybody. We’re going to make it reciprocal. We’re going to make them fair, and I will tell you that you don’t know about this, but every country is calling every day saying, ‘Let’s make a deal, let’s make a deal.’ It’s going to all work out.”.
He also said he would wait until after the midterms before he signs a new North American Free Trade Agreement. The president has repeatedly threatened to scrap the deal, and negotiations are currently stalled on the agreement. Also playing into the mix: Mexicans are heading to the polls on Sunday, meaning Trump will have a new person to negotiate with.
“NAFTA, I could sign it tomorrow, but I’m not happy with it,” he said. “I want to make it more fair, okay?”.
When asked whether it was fair for him to call out a specific company, Trump defended his remarks about Harley-Davidson — and declared that the company’s customer base had all voted for him.
“I guarantee you everybody that ever bought a Harley-Davidson voted for Trump,” Trump said. “I don’t know if you know that. I would have to — they call them bikers for Trump. There’s hundreds.”.
The president has been warring with the company since it announced that it would move more production overseas in response to his tariff fight with Europe.
6) North Korea
The president insisted that North Korea was “very serious” about denuclearization.
He also said that he believed that the United States had given “nothing” up in during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month. The president has faced criticism over signing an agreement that promises denuclearization on the Korean peninsula but provided few details on how this would be done. In return, he promised the United States would end joint military exercises with South Korea.
“What did I do, really, when you think about it? I went there,” he said.
Still, NBC News cited officials that say North Korea is actually upping it production of enriched uranium, a sign that the country is pushing forward with creating nuclear weapons.