President Joe Biden appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night to discuss the recent mass shootings in the U.S., including one in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 elementary school children and two teachers.
Kimmel asked the president why he couldn't issue an executive order to address the shootings and gun control, noting that former president Donald Trump "passed those out like Halloween candy."
Biden answered that he doesn’t want to “emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution” by issuing many executive orders. “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,” he explained. “But what I don’t want to do, and I’m not being facetious, is emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority.”
“I often get asked, well the Republicans don’t play it square, why do you play it square?” added Biden. “Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy will literally be in jeopardy.”
When Kimmel jokingly asked the president about his process for flushing documents down the toilet, Biden quipped, "I ask Trump."
President Biden also touched on a number of other issues during the interview, including Roe vs. Wade, inflation, the negative impact of the pandemic on families, and mental health care.
The appearance was the president's first in-studio appearance on a late-night talk show since taking office in January 2021. Biden last appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in September 2019, in the midst of his campaign during the Democratic Party presidential primary.