At the Republican National Convention last month, Donald Trump was repeatedly described as the ‘most pro-life President ever’. According to some rather sensational leaked official notes in Sunday’s Daily Telegraph, however, Trump has said he regards abortion as ‘such a tough issue’.
Addressing the then British prime minister Theresa May, who is childless, Trump said in January 2017: ‘Imagine some animal with tattoos raping your daughter, and then she gets pregnant.’
Aside from the staggering crassness of this remark to a woman who is on the record about her inability to have children, it also suggests that Trump is not as pro-life as many in his party would have voters believe. According to the notes, Trump also pointed to Mike Pence, the Vice President and a devout Christian, and said, ‘He’s a really tough one on abortion.’ Was he just trying to show May that he could see both sides of the argument?
It’s understood that Trump has shifted his position on abortion, from being pro-choice when he was a Democrat in the 1990s to a more conservative pro-life view after he became a more Christian Republican.
There have, of course, been repeated rumors that Trump has paid for several of his former mistresses to have abortions, but these claims remain unsubstantiated. What seems more likely is that Trump changes his tune on this moral issue depending on who he is talking to.
The Telegraph scoop also reveals some hilarious details about Anglo-American relations under Trump’s leadership. Trump apparently asked May why there was so much ‘hatred’ in Northern Ireland, and also why Boris Johnson didn’t have her job. It’s well known that the Trump-May relationship was strained and that the President was much keener on Boris, whom he has called ‘Britain Trump’.
That amity has suffered since Johnson actually became Prime Minister, however; especially after the two men argued over Britain’s use of the Chinese company Huawei to build its 5G infrastructure. Britain has since reversed its commitment to Huawei, much to the delight of the US State Department.
According to the leaked notes, Boris Johnson also told officials that Trump was ‘making America great again’, which is not something he has said publicly. May was unable to disguise her difficulties in dealing with Donald Trump. She was apparently briefed on how to flatter the President before each call with him, but struggled to do so.