Donald Trump has said he personally would support a trans person like Caitlyn Jenner using the bathroom that corresponds to her gender identity, but speaking to Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night, the Republican frontrunner refused to make such a definitive statement.
“You believe transgender people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want to, which is contrary to what a lot of people, most people, in your party believe,” Kimmel said to Trump, who denied that assertion.
“I didn’t say [that]. What, really, I’m saying is, and I think it’s pretty simple, let the states decide. We have to protect everybody. It’s a very, very small group. Right now, it’s a small group — perhaps it’s going to grow larger,” Trump said.
“The party generally believes that whatever you’re born, that’s the bathroom you use,” Trump added. Pressed by Kimmel to answer for himself and not the party, Trump declined to offer a firm stance. “Me? I say let the states decide,” he said.
Asked again for his views, Trump said, “What I support is let the states decide. I think the states will do, hopefully, the right thing.”
Pushed to answer what the “right thing” would be for states to decide, Trump concluded, “I don’t know yet. Honestly, I don’t know.”
Previously, Trump was asked about the law in North Carolina that discriminates against trans people who wish to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. “North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price and there’s a lot of problems,” he said during an interview on the TODAY show in April. “I heard one of the best answers I heard was from a commentator yesterday, saying, leave it the way it is, right now. … There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble, and the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment they are taking.”
During that same interview, Trump was asked a hypothetical question about Caitlyn Jenner walking into Trump Tower and using the bathroom associated with her gender identity.
“You would be fine with her using any bathroom she chooses,” Matt Lauer asked Trump.
“That is correct,” replied the candidate.
Watch Trump on Kimmel below.