WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump used a new interview to explain his abortion position, defend his age as he seeks a second term in office and claim he doesn’t fear prison from the four criminal cases filed against him.
The former president also took credit for efforts to overturn Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, even in the face of criminal charges accusing him of trying to steal the race.
“It was my decision,” Trump said during a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
The interview also marked the debut of NBC’s Kristen Welker as moderator of the long-running news program. Here are seven key takeaways.
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‘You know who I listen to? Myself’
While attorneys and aides have been accused along with Trump in his state and federal charges over the 2020 election, the former president took credit in the interview that aired Sunday for efforts to overturn his losses in crucial states to Biden.
While Trump has long claimed a “rigged” election, despite no evidence, prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have charged him with conducting illegal conspiracies to tamper with the election results. He also faces charges in Georgia for allegedly trying to take the Peach State from Biden.
“You know who I listen to? Myself,” Trump told NBC. “I saw what happened. I watched that election.”
Trump also said he does not plan to pardon himself because he doesn’t think he will be convicted.
Trump and abortion
The Republican front-runner, whose position on abortion has been criticized by some conservatives, said on “Meet the Press” that he would try to work with all sides of the issue.
“I think both sides are going to like me,” Trump said in the interview taped Thursday.
On the campaign, trail, Trump said Republicans should not stress flat-out opposition to all abortions, and should follow his lead by supporting exceptions in case of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. He addressed the issue in a pair of speeches to groups of social conservatives over the weekend.
Opponents of abortion, a big part of the Republican coalition, have questioned Trump’s position as somewhat squishy.
Following the interview, the presidential campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement to USA TODAY criticized Trump for compromising with Democrats.
Prison? ‘I don’t even think about it’
While convictions in his criminal cases could lead to prison sentences, Trump claimed he doesn’t fear the idea.
“I don’t even think about it,” Trump said. “I’m built a little differently, I guess.”
Opponents like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Trump must be losing sleep over facing four criminal trials.
Trump denied it: “I sleep. Because I truly feel that, in the end, we’re going to win.”
Pardons for Jan. 6 rioters
Trump, who has said he will create a task force to evaluate the cases of people convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, said during the interview he would consider pardons if warranted.
“Well, I’m going to look at them, and I certainly might if I think it’s appropriate,” he told Welker.
Trump says Biden isn’t too old to be president
While Republicans seek to make age an issue against the 80-year-old Biden, Trump has to be more careful on the subject. He’s 77 years old.
“My father lived much longer than that,” Trump said. “My mother lived much longer than that. So genetically, that’s a good thing.”
As for Biden, Trump said he is not too old either, but he said there should be mental competency tests. And Trump isn’t alone in the Republican field in calling for evaluations for older lawmakers. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has also called for such tests for elected officials.
‘A nice note’ to Biden
While he blasts Biden every day, Trump was also asked about the note he left behind for Biden when he left the White House to make room for the new president.
It is tradition for presidents to leave notes for their successors.
“It was a nice note,” Trump said. “I took a lot of time in thinking about it.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump says Biden isn’t too old to be president in interview: Takeaways
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