Donald Trump is pivoting to anti-abortion extremism, maybe because he’s spending a lot of time with Mike Pence or maybe because he learned a new sentence and just likes repeating it a whole lot. Either way, Politico reports that, ahead of last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, Trump picked a fight with Democratic co-chair Sen. Chris Coons over recent pro-choice legislation in New York and Virginia. (Coons is pro-choice.)
Trump leaned in close to Coons, who calls himself “a practicing Christian and a devout Presbyterian,” and laced into the Democratic senator over controversial moves to change statewide policies on abortion that have roiled New York and Virginia politics in recent weeks. “He was in his face about it,” said one person familiar with the exchange. The person described Trump as extremely “worked up.”
“He saw a Democrat in the room, a Democrat who’s known to be a person of faith, and he was like, ‘Why aren’t you speaking out about this?’” the source added.
Another source who was in the room confirmed the account, describing the moment as both “awkward” and attention-grabbing. Rarely has Trump been so vocal about abortion when the masses aren’t watching, this person said. (A Coons spokesman declined to comment.)
The near-altercation is another sign that Trump is ramping up his anti-abortion extremism as we approach 2020. During the State of the Union, the president claimed that New York’s recently amended reproductive health law, which codifies Roe v. Wade and decriminalizes self-managed abortions, would “allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.” At a rally on Monday night, he falsely accused Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, of supporting similar legislation that would “execute babies.”
Trump’s recent rhetoric and support has pleased white evangelicals, who are pleased by literally every single horrible thing the president does. David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life committee, told Politico that he hopes Trump will “continue to speak from the heart if he’s as shocked as most people are by the idea of after-birth abortions,” because apparently anti-abortion activists are trying to make “after-birth abortion” a thing now.
Looking forward to hearing the president say it any day now.