Donald Trump on Wednesday said he thinks Walt Disney is looking down at his company’s pro-LGBTQI stance and wondering, ‘What has happened to my Magic Kingdom?’
He also claimed without backing that more than half of transgender youth regret making the change ‘later in life’ as Republican-led states across the country crack down on gender-affirming care for kids and teens, and limit trans participation in youth sports.
The Walt Disney Company waded into these burgeoning culture wars with its vocal opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights In Education bill, which places limits on discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a former Trump acolyte who’s now seen as a potential 2024 White House nominee in his own right, led a push by Republican lawmakers in the Sunshine State to revoke a decades-old law giving Disney’s property self-governance over its pro-LGBTQI stance.
Critics have dubbed the new law the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, claiming it harms developing and impressionable transgender or otherwise non-cisgender straight youth.
Trump called the trans rights movement a ‘terrible thing’ during a wide-ranging interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.
‘That’s not the way it should be, that’s for sure. It is a terrible thing. I mean, especially when you’re taking children that don’t even have this period to form,’ the former president said.
‘And you know, in many cases — I hear 60 percent of the cases — later they say “Why did they do this to me?” Sixty percent. No, I think it’s a terrible thing.’
Donald Trump boasted that ‘nobody has done more for religion of all types than me’ during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network
Trump continued, ‘I think what’s happened with Disney and what Disney’s doing, Walt Disney is looking down.’
‘He’s not happy, OK? Walt Disney’s saying, “What ever happened to my beautiful Magic Kingdom?”‘
The former president predicted the entire movement promoting gender exploration for LGBTQI youth would be ‘shut out.’
‘This is a different different world. It’s a new world and I think it’s actually going to be shut out. You know how it’s gonna get shut out? Common sense. It’s common sense, but I think it’s going. And I think religion will help shut it out,’ Trump said.
He then seemed to accuse LGBTQI activists of being against Christianity.
Trump told the religious network: ‘You know, nobody has done more for Christianity, nobody has done more for religion of all types than me.’
‘And they’re really doing things now to — and I’ve always said it, they are against organized religion, they are against Christianity.’
It’s not clear what ‘they’ Trump was referring to.
Elsewhere in the interview, he took aim at President Joe Biden’s new Disinformation Governance Board, which the Department of Homeland Security announced would help crack down on Russian misinformation as well as misleading stories circulated by human smugglers in Central and South America to entice migrants to attempt to cross the southwestern border.
He reacted to Disney wading into the culture war in Florida with its opposition to Republicans’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which outlaws discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom for kindergarten through third grade. It was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, who like Trump is seen as a potential 2024 presidential nominee
Disney vocally opposed the bill and said in March that it would pause political donations in Florida
Republicans have claimed Biden could use the board to silence his critics. Trump on Wednesday compared it to tactics used by the Soviet Union.
‘Who would have believed that we’re talking about somebody that’s going to censor people over a period of — over a long period of time, and very strong,’ Trump said.
He also dismissed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ assurances that the board will not have operational authority and rather present recommendations.
‘Now they’re saying, “Oh, no, it’s just a recommendation.” That’s where it all began. I guess that’s what they used to say in Russia. That’s what they said in the Soviet Union, right?’ Trump claimed.
‘No, we can’t do that. We can’t do that. That’s a horrible thing.’
The ex-president also looked ahead to the next presidential election cycle, but like dozens of previous times, was vague about whether he’d run a third campaign.
‘I’ve had many people say, as good as I think we were they said, “You were the best at it. You were the best.” and they want me back,’ Trump said.
He anticipated having a decision on whether to run again after the midterm elections.
Looking back at his previous administration, Trump also praised Mike Pence as a ‘good vice president’ — despite previously attacking the former official for not participating in a plan to overturn Trump’s 2020 loss to Biden.
On January 6 last year, Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol in a bid to stop Biden’s election certification chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence.’ The ex-vice president had to be evacuated from his office.
But on Wednesday Trump revealed he’s spoken to Pence just ‘four or five months’ ago, even as the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack is pursuing an interview with him.
‘I haven’t spoken to him in a long time, and he’s a nice man. He disappointed me on one thing because I think he should have sent the votes back to the legislatures,’ Trump said, referring to a flawed legal theory that claims Pence could have rejected the electors of certain states.
Pence has sparked his own prospective 2024 rumors in recent months, with speeches touting the Trump administration’s successes while distancing himself from the January 6 riot.
Asked about Pence’s chances at the White House, Trump said it would be a ‘hard one’ for the Indiana conservative.
‘If I got in, it would be — I think it’d be a hard one for him,’ Trump predicted.
‘I think it’d be a hard one. I understand where the basis, I love the base. The base loves me. I think it’d be hard but Mike was a good guy. I thought he was a very good vice president.’
Trump added: ‘He was my friend.’