According to the New York Times, the man most responsible for shaping a United States Supreme Court that delivered a long-awaited victory to the conservative movement has spent weeks saying he doesn’t think it will be good for his party.
After a draft of the likely decision was leaked in May, former President Donald J. Trump remained remarkably silent for weeks about the possible decision, which the court eventually handed down on Friday, effectively ending federal abortion protections. However, Mr. Trump has repeatedly stated in private that he believes it will be “bad for Republicans.”
Mr. Trump has told friends and advisers that his decision will enrage suburban women, a group that helped Joseph R. Biden Jr. win the 2020 presidential election, and will result in a backlash against Republicans in the November midterm elections.
According to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions, Mr. Trump has told people in other conversations that measures like Texas’ six-week abortion ban, which allows people to sue those who allow abortions beyond that time frame, are “so stupid.” The Supreme Court upheld the law until December 20, 2021.
His advisers had advised Mr. Trump to remain silent on the issue of abortion until a ruling was issued, in part to avoid being accused of attempting to influence the decision. Nonetheless, the contrast between Mr. Trump and conservatives who praised the decision and worked in his administration, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, has been stark. Mr. Pence issued a statement saying, “Life won,” and urged abortion opponents to continue fighting “in every state in the land” on Friday morning.
Mr. Trump’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his private remarks or his reaction to the ruling. But, when asked about his role in the decision, Mr. Trump told Fox News in an interview published after the decision on Friday, “God made the decision.” He stated that the decision was “following the Constitution and restoring rights that should have been restored long ago.”
“I think, in the end, this will work out for everyone,” Mr. Trump told Fox News.
By Friday afternoon, Mr. Trump had issued a victory statement in which he praised himself for sticking to his nominations. In the 6-to-3 ruling, all three of Mr. Trump’s court appointees were in the majority.
“Today’s decision, which is the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation, along with other decisions that have been announced recently, were only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump has long supported abortion rights, despite saying he despises the procedure. In 2011, while preparing for a possible campaign, he changed his tune and declared his opposition to abortion rights at a conservative political conference. Throughout his political career, he has privately referred to it as a “tough issue” and publicly avoided discussing it.
In a May interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump raised an eyebrow when asked about the pivotal role he played in tipping the balance on the Supreme Court and paving the way for the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
“I never like to take credit for anything,” Mr. Trump, who has spent his career putting his name on almost everything, said.
When asked how he felt about having helped put together a court that was on the verge of overturning a ruling that protected abortion rights, Mr. Trump refused to answer the question, instead focusing on the leak of the draft opinion in early May.
“I don’t know what the decision is,” he stated. “We’ve been reading about something that was drawn months ago. Nobody knows what that decision is. A draft is a draft.”