LOYAL OPPOSITION

Chuck Schumer on ‘The View’: Democrats Have More ‘Power’ Than You Think

The Senate minority leader tells ‘The View’ how Democrats are planning to “stop” Trump.

ABC

When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stopped by The View Tuesday morning, there was one topic they had to get out of the way right off of the bat: What President Trump referred to as his “fake tears” over the administration’s travel ban last month.

“We brought tissues just in case you start to tear up, because you never know,” moderator Whoopi Goldberg said, before asking Schumer, “Is there anything you want to tell him now?”

“Well, he doesn't know me,” Schumer said of Trump. “He says he knows me. I get tearful. My daughter's wedding, I could hardly contain it in. When Harry Reid stepped down and here's what my family knows — who remembers the movie Free Willy?” When you admit to tearing up at that 1993 film about the plight of a whale, you’re kind of allowing that it doesn’t take much to make you cry.

“Trump has it so wrong,” Schumer continued. “Seriously, I care about immigration,” he added, noting that his actual middle name is Ellis after Ellis Island and his daughter’s middle name is Emma after Emma Lazarus, who wrote the poem emblazoned on The Statue of Liberty. “You know, Donald Trump would like people to think all immigrants are terrorists and criminals. They're not. They're the future of America.”

No member of the Senate has received more donations from Donald Trump over the years than Schumer, but now they find themselves in direct opposition. Trump called Schumer the “head clown” and Schumer has taken to chanting “Dump Trump” at rallies. The hosts wanted to know what exactly “Dump Trump” would look like.

“We have to stop him,” Schumer said, speaking more broadly than specifically. “Here's what I believe, you should always be guided by your values, that's my internal gyroscope.” He added, “If you have your own beliefs, your own values and stick with them you'll stay on course. So, Trump calling me names doesn't affect me, Trump trying to flatter me doesn't affect me. If he sticks with the right values I won't oppose things just because the name Trump is on it. But, when he's against our values and American values, I'll fight him tooth and nail.”

Schumer went on to agree with his colleague Al Franken that “when you talk to Republicans quietly, you know, in the cloakroom or in the gym, they are having real problems with” President Trump. He singled out Sen. John McCain for having the “courage to oppose” Trump — despite that fact that he’s voted with the president 94% of the time so far — and predicted that we will see a lot more Republicans “breaking with him” in the coming months. “That is the hope of America,” he said.

Asked by Goldberg if he thinks the Republicans view a favorable Supreme Court nominee as “more important than what the Constitution stands for,” Schumer aired how “disappointed” he has been with Trump’s cabinet picks, especially coming from a man who vowed to “drain the swamp” in Washington. “This is the worst cabinet we’ve ever seen in the history of America,” he said. “We call his cabinet the swamp cabinet, billionaires and bankers, totally against what he campaigned on.”

The Senate minority leader also stood up the media, who Trump has now deemed the “enemy” of the American people. “The press has always been a counter to people in power,” he said. “Every one of us gets criticized by the press, we don't like it. But it makes—it probably keeps us better. And when he totally, totally just demeans them and when he's wrong and then calls them fake news, that's trouble for the democracy.”

Later in the show, Schumer discussed his conversations with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and explained why he is “disappointed” in the pick. Schumer said he asked Gorsuch if he disagrees with Trump’s characterization of the “so-called” judge who ruled against him on the ban, something Schumer said “goes against all our whole way of making laws and respect for the branches of government” and “he wouldn't say so.” He asked Gorsuch, “Would a Muslim ban be unconstitutional? He wouldn't answer,” adding, “I sat there with an eerie feeling.”

Asked by co-host Joy Behar why the Democrats don’t “do to Gorsuch what the Republicans did to Merrick Garland,” Schumer had a simple answer: “Because they’re in charge.”

“In other words, we can't,” he continued. “If we were in charge we could do they did, I’m not saying we should. We could not bring him up for a vote. But they were in charge for Garland, so they didn’t bring him up.” The good news, he said, is that Gorsuch will need 60 votes to get through “I believe, if Gorsuch keeps it up he'll have a rough road to hoe to get those 60 votes.”

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“People ask, do the Democrats have power?” Schumer added. “We're not in charge, which means we can't set the agenda. But we can block a lot of things.”