President Joe Biden was Jimmy Kimmel’s guest Wednesday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and during their conversation, Kimmel asked Biden something that quite a lot of frustrated people have been asking themselves: Why isn’t the President issuing executive orders to deal with the epidemic of gun-related mass murders the way Donald Trump used that presidential power for his priorities?
Biden’s answer: He thinks Trump abused the Constitution and doesn’t want to “emulate” him. You can watch the exchange below in a preview of the interview posted ahead of the show’s broadcast, and read the transcript after if you’re unable to watch now.
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) June 9, 2022
“Can’t you issue an executive order? Trump passed those out like Halloween candy,” Kimmel asked.
“I have issued executive orders, within the power of the presidency, to be able to deal with these, everything having to do with guns, gun ownership, all the things within my power. But what I don’t want to do,” Biden said, “and I’m not being facetious, is emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority.”
Biden is outpacing Trump on executive orders so far, having issued 90 in his first 17 months in office. Trump issued 220 during his four-year term.
“I mean that sincerely, because I often get asked, ‘Look, the Republicans don’t play it square, why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy would literally be in jeopardy. It’s not a joke,” Biden continued.
“I understand that argument,” Kimmel responded, “but also it’s like you’re playing ‘Monopoly’ with someone who won’t pass go, who won’t follow any of the rules. Then how do you ever make any progress, if they’re not following the rules?”
“You gotta send them to jail,” Biden said, in an apparent Monopoly callback. “Directly to jail?”
The full interview will be online later. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs at 11:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on ABC.
Speaking of jail — or more likely, not jail — Biden’s appearance on Kimmel comes one night before the start of prime time congressional hearings investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Biden, however, is in Los Angeles for the 2022 Summit of the Americas.