President Trump, who as a candidate said he would appoint Supreme Court judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, hedged in a radio interview broadcast Monday when asked whether the landmark abortion decision should be scuttled.
“Do you believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned?” host Geraldo Rivera asked Trump in an interview that was taped Sunday.
“Yeah, I don’t want to talk about it now, because that’s a controversy that I’m going to leave to the courts,” Trump responded.
Trump’s comments come as the nomination of his second Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, is pending in the Senate. Many Democrats have opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination in part because of concerns he would help roll back abortion rights.
In a debate during the 2016 campaign, Trump said if he prevailed over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the overturning of Roe “will happen, automatically in my opinion” because of the justices he would nominate to the high court.
In a July interview, as he prepared to announce a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Trump said his advisers had told him he should not ask anyone on his list of potential nominees whether they would overturn the 1973 decision.
“They’re all saying, ‘don’t do that, you don’t do that, you shouldn’t do that.’ But I’m putting conservative people on,” Trump told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo.