Donald Trump went on a ‘splaining tour this weekend, but it doesn’t seem like clarity is his goal.
He began with a Thursday appearance on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor”:
BOLLING: Donald, that took some of the attention away from a firestorm you set off yesterday after your interview about what should happen to women who get abortions if the procedure becomes illegal. I want to play it for our folks.
BOLLING: Now, I know you have since clarified your point in written statements but–
TRUMP: I have clarified it, you really ought to heart whole thing. I mean, this is a long convoluted question. This was a long discussion and they just cut it out and, frankly, it was extremely — it was really convoluted and if, in fact, abortion was outlawed the person performing the abortion, the doctor or whoever it may be that is really doing the act is responsible for the act not the woman is responsible. So, that’s the way I have always felt. I have had the same — I have had the same stance exactly as Ronald Reagan. I mean, I have had it and I have had it from the beginning. So, my stance is the exact same as Ronald Reagan’s.
BOLLING: So, a lot of people are making a lot of hay out of this. Donald, I’m trying to figure out, did you misspeak or did you misunderstand the question?
TRUMP: Well, it could be that I misspoke. But this was a long, convoluted subject. We talked about Catholicism and his religion. And, you know, Chris went back and forth about that and this was a very long, convoluted discussion which, frankly, they don’t want on television because it was too long.
TRUMP: But you know, just as I said it, and I must tell you this is the same — my stance is the same stance as Ronald Reagan. And, if, in fact, abortion was outlined, the person performing that act is responsible, not the woman.
Next up was CBS’s “Face of the Nation” on Sunday:
DICKERSON: You had a week where abortion rights — where everybody on both sides of the abortion issue didn’t know what your position was. Your campaign manager was…
TRUMP: That was asked as hypothetical question. And he said, if abortion is illegal. The bottom line is that it is — it is the doctor’s fault. But that was asked as a hypothetical.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you next about abortion. What would you do to further restrict women’s access to abortions as president?
TRUMP: Well, look, I just — I know where you’re going. And I just want to say, a question was asked to me. And it was asked in a very hypothetical, and it was said illegal, illegal. I have been told by some people that was an older line answer and that was an answer that was given on the basis of an older line from years ago, very — on a very conservative basis. But…
DICKERSON: Your original answer, you mean.
TRUMP: My original.
DICKERSON: About punishing women.
TRUMP: But I was asked as a hypothetical, hypothetically, hypothetically. The laws are set now on abortion. And that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed.
DICKERSON: Because you had said you wanted — you told Bloomberg in January that you believed abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy. Where would you do the ban?
TRUMP: I would have liked to have seen this be a states’ rights. I would have preferred states’ rights. I think it would have been better if it were up to the states. But, right now, the laws are set. And that’s the way the laws are.
DICKERSON: But do you have a feeling how they should change? There are a lot of laws you want to change. You have talking about them, everything from libel to torture. Anything you would want to change on abortion?
TRUMP: At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.
DICKERSON: Did you think it’s murder, abortion?
TRUMP: I have my opinions on it, but I would rather not comment on it.
DICKERSON: You said you’re very pro-life. Pro-life views it that it’s abortion — that abortion is murder.
TRUMP: But I do have my opinions on it. I would rather — I just don’t think it’s an appropriate forum.
DICKERSON: But you don’t disagree with that proposition that it’s murder?
TRUMP: What proposition?
DICKERSON: That abortion is murder?
TRUMP: No, I don’t disagree with it.
Finally, Trump finished with an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”:
WALLACE: You say you’ve had better weeks. Let’s talk about your comments this week, about what you would like to see if abortions became illegal. Here you are.
WALLACE: It took you two written statements to clean that up.
TRUMP: Well, it took me really two statements because they were sort of different statements and they were on different subjects.
WALLACE: But then the president of National Right to Life tweeted this, “The inept thing Donald Trump said about women who have abortions is making pro-lifers cringe.” You did something pretty remarkable. You offended both the pro-life and the pro-choice movements with one statement.
TRUMP: Well, look, it was asked as a hypothetical, and talked about if it’s illegal, and it was hypothetically asked.
WALLACE: But you gave that answer.
TRUMP: There would have been — there would have been a very strong conservative, a very conservative group that would have said that was the appropriate answer. I’m not saying it was the appropriate answer. I’d say it’s the doctor’s fault or whoever performs the act, it’s their fault. But there was a time when that would have been, and maybe today that would have been, but that was asked as a hypothetical question.
WALLACE: But why did you say the woman?
TRUMP: Because it was asked hypothetically. I said the woman because it was asked hypothetically. I also corrected it and I made it very much so that I think everybody, it’s acceptable now for everybody. But —
WALLACE: Do you agree it was a mistake?
TRUMP: Well, I — as a hypothetical question, I would have rather asked it — you know, answered it in a different manner, yes. I would have rather answered it in a different manner.
Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com.