Trump comes out against NC anti-trans law

North Carolina’s recently-passed law mandating that citizens across the state use bathrooms that correspond to the gender stated on their birth certificate, instead of their gender identity — a clear swipe at transgender people — is apparently too much for even Donald Trump.

Asked about the law on the Today show, Trump said that while the law was very “strong,” North Carolina is “paying a big price. There’s a lot of problems.”

He went on to argue that North Carolina should just “leave it the way it is [was],” since “There have been very few complaints…People go; they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”

Asked if Caitlyn Jenner, or any of Trump’s trans employees, would be able to use the bathrooms they’d feel most comfortable in in Trump Tower, Trump said yes. It’s worth noting that New York City has a non-discrimination ordinance on the books that requires Trump to let people use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

Trump also dismissed the would-be compromise of constructing gender neutral bathrooms everywhere, saying that the cost isn’t justified since, again, there’s no real problem to solve.

Here’s the video of the exchange, via ThinkProgress:

There are a few possibilities here. The first and most simple one is that North Carolina’s law is so blatantly discriminatory that even Republican presidential candidates feel safe opposing it. The second possibility is that Trump doesn’t yet know that opposing trans equality is a core GOP position, and we’re a day or two from seeing a full reversal here.

Donald Trump speaking at Liberty University, screenshot via YouTube

Donald Trump speaking at Liberty University, screenshot via YouTube

Either way, Ted Cruz is not impressed. Cruz defended North Carolina’s law earlier in the week, saying “As the father of daughters, I’m not terribly excited about men being able to go alone into a bathroom with my daughters, and I think that’s a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make.” He has already gone after Trump over North Carolina’s law on Twitter, and we should expect to see it in attacks ads coming soon to an upcoming primary state near you.

Which means that the Republican primary race heading into the next week of voting could hinge on trans equality. Ten bucks to whoever saw that coming.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • centurion2065

    He walked it back. Said it should be up to the states.

  • It’s a way of avoiding issues that really do need to be addressed.

    As for Trump, when he does something like this, my first reaction is to ask “Who was the audience?”

    And Ted Cruz has daughters? Ted Cruz himself is a strong argument in favor of eugenics.

  • goulo

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut… I was happy to see Trump slam these stupid “bathroom panic” laws, whatever his reason.

    I do wonder whether he will change his position, or it will quickly blow over (perhaps due to some new “outrage of the day”), or what.

    It’s also pretty interesting/funny reading angry/shocked/horrified comments from Trump supporters (or indignant ex-supporters) who think he’s horribly betrayed them all by not hating trans people… Sort of surreal seeing some Trump fans saying stuff like they may as well vote for Clinton or Sanders now because Trump’s now shown his “true colors” and he’s clearly no different at all from those terrible leftist liberal radical Democrats out to destroy America…

  • Phil in FLL

    You’ve captured Trump’s essence. He has a childish need for attention and approval, and part of his childishness is that he is absolutely exasperating.

  • Trump doesn’t really come out for or against things. He just says shit, usually the first thing that pops into his narcissistic little mind.

    He truly does not care what is and isn’t a core GOP position. He says whatever in the immediate moment he thinks will draw the most approval and attention, and for him, hopefully also make a big media splash.

    He’ll walk this back as soon as he thinks it will benefit him to do so. Then double down on what he said, because Trump insists he never misspeaks about anything. Then move on to the next attention-grabbing remark after leaving everybody thinking he agrees with them, kinda-sorta.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Rebranding is all the rage in the DP and the RP. It means nothing.

    When will they enact ENDA?

  • Badgerite

    I think they should build a “big, beautiful wall” to keep people out of bathrooms. What right does anyone have to use public bathrooms. Friggin takers.

  • devlzadvocate

    Waiting for walkback.

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