ABC News hosts abruptly shuts down interview with J.D. Vance over right-wing nonsense

ABC News host George Stephanopolous abruptly ended a discussion with Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, on Sunday after the Republican alleged that a president would have the power to ignore the Supreme Court. 

“Fire everyone in the government, then defy the Supreme Court? You think it’s OK to defy the Supreme Court?” the anchor asked after Vance said in 2021 that then-president Donald Trump should oust federal civil servants and disregard any Supreme Court ruling that instructed him to do otherwise. Vance at the time claimed Trump should “stand before the country like Andrew Jackson did and say, ‘The Chief Justice has made his ruling, now let him enforce it,’” per The Daily Beast. 

“That’s a fundamental component of our government, George, that whoever is in charge, agree or disagree with him, you have to follow the rules,” Vance said.  “If those people aren’t following the rules, then of course, you’ve got to fire them.”

Stephanopolous in response pressed Vance to explicate whether he felt the president had to adhere to SCOTUS rulings. 

“The Constitution also says the president must abide by legitimate Supreme Court rulings, doesn’t it?” Stephanopoulos asked, per ABC.

“The Constitution says that the Supreme Court can make rulings … but if the Supreme Court said the president of the United States can’t fire a general, that would be an illegitimate ruling,” Vance said.

“The Constitution says that the Supreme Court can make rulings but if the Supreme Court —and look, I hoped that they would not do this — but if the Supreme Court said the president of the United States can’t fire a general, that would be an illegitimate ruling,” Vance said. “The president has to have Article II prerogative under the Constitution to actually run the military as he sees fit. This is just basic constitutional legitimacy.”

“You’ve made it very clear — you believe the president can defy the Supreme Court,” Stephanopoulos replied. “Senator, thanks for your time this morning.”

Ahead of the conversation’s termination, Vance separately provided his thoughts on the 2020 election after Stephanopolous asked if Vance would have certified the election results if he had been acting as vice president at the time. 

The GOP senator at first called the question “ridiculous” and claimed Stephanopolous was “obsessed with talking about this” before clarifying his thoughts. 

“Do I think there were problems in 2020? Yes, I do,” Vance said. “If I had been vice president, I would have told the states, like Pennsylvania, Georgia and so many others, that we needed to have multiple slates of electors and I think the U.S. Congress should have fought over it from there. That is the legitimate way to deal with an election that a lot of folks, including me, think had a lot of problems in 2020. I think that’s what we should have done.”

“So, he’s saying he would have engaged in the conspiracy to interfere with the lawful outcome of the election? Out loud?” tweeted former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance. 

Former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., referred to Vance’s remarks as “So dangerous. So unconstitutional. So un-American. So cultish. So MAGA.”

“I’m glad JD Vance stated very explicitly that he believes we should shred American democracy and replace it with a system where the will of the voters is disregarded by partisan legislators,” MSNBC analyst Tim Miller quipped in a tweet. “A lot of Trump defenders talk around this and I appreciate his candor.”

Speaking candidly about Trump’s numerous legal woes — including the $83.3 million he was recently ordered to pay writer E. Jean Carroll in damages — Vance said he felt the former president had been partly wronged. Stephanopolous asked him to offer his thoughts on the argument that supporting Trump is, by extension supporting abusers — last spring Trump was found liable of sexually abusing and defaming Carroll, who has long said he assaulted her in a New York City department store dressing room in the 1990s.

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“I think it’s actually very unfair to the victims of sexual assault to say that somehow their lives are being worse by electing Donald Trump for president when what he’s trying to do, I think, is restore prosperity,” Vance said. “If you actually look at so many of the court cases against Donald Trump, George, this is not about prosecuting Trump for something that he did. It’s about throwing him off the ballot because Democrats feel that they can’t beat him at the ballot box. And so, they’re trying to defeat him in court,” he added.

“I think most Americans recognize that this is not what we want to fight the 2024 election on. Let’s fight it over issues,” Vance said.

“So juries in New York City are not legitimate when they find someone liable for … defamation and assault?” Stephanopoulos asked after Vance seemed to wave off findings by “extremely left-wing jurisdictions.”

“Well, when the cases are funded by left-wing donors and when the case has absolute left-wing bias all over it, George, absolutely I think that we should call into question that particular conclusion,” Vance said.

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