Donald Trump Comes Out Against North Carolina’s ‘Very Strong’ Bathroom Bill

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Rothschild, WI.
Make North Carolina Tolerant Again.Photo: The Washington Post/2016 The Washington Post

Donald Trump says transgender people should be able to “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” On NBC’s Today show Thursday morning, the GOP front-runner said he opposes North Carolina’s “very strong” bathroom bill, which allows businesses to prohibit transgender people from doing just that.

North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price. And there’s a lot of problems.” Trump said. “Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they’re going through, with all of the business and all of the strife — and that’s on both sides — you leave it the way it is. 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’re taking.”

Trump went on to say that he opposes the idea of creating a new, third bathroom specifically for transgender people because “that would be discriminatory, in a certain way,” and because “it would be unbelievably expensive for businesses and for the country.”

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory’s office issued a statement in response to Trump’s remarks:

Governor McCrory has always said that North Carolina was getting along fine before the Charlotte city council passed its unneeded and overreaching ordinance. Now that it has been overturned, businesses can adopt their own policies - like Target has - instead of being mandated to allow men into women’s restrooms by government.

Trump’s comments on the bill start around the 18:40 mark in the clip below.

Ted Cruz, Trump’s closest rival for the Republican nod, is a staunch defender of the legislation, arguing, “Men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls.” Ohio governor (and imaginary presidential contender) John Kasich has said he would not have signed the bill.

In his Today show interview, the Donald held forth on several other pressing matters of the day. Here’s a quick rundown.

On Harriet Tubman and the $20: “Andrew Jackson had a great history. I think it’s very rough when you take someone off the bill. Andrew Jackson had a history of tremendous success for the country … I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic. I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and maybe we come up with another denomination. Maybe we do the $2 bill or we do another bill. I don’t like seeing it — yes, I think it’s pure political correctness.”

(Jackson’s “great history” included ordering the Trail of Tears, inducing a financial panic, and selling human beings.)

On ISIS: “We’ve got to knock the hell out of ’em.”

On Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis: “I don’t believe anybody, really, has been indicted and gone to jail, which is pretty amazing, because I’m pretty sure there was some pretty bad moves made … For the most part, Wall Street bankers want to do well … They’re good people, like everyone else. They get a lot of money. I think they’re paid too much money, but what are you gonna do?”

On the parties that he and Matt Lauer go to: “I’ve known some bad dudes. You’ve known some bad dudes, Matt. I’ve been at parties, and I’ve seen you, and I’ve seen these people in the same room as us.”

On whether he believes we should raise taxes on the wealthy: “I do. I do. Including [on] myself.”

On his sad, rich friends: “I know so many people … many who were at the big celebration the other night. They’re all friends of mine, the biggest business people. Now, I’m not gonna specify which, but some of these people: unbelievably wealthy, but unbelievably unhappy.”

On how presidential he’s going to be: “It’s easier for me to be presidential than for me to be doing what I’ve been doing for the last, really, nine months. But at the right time, I will be so presidential, you will be so bored. You will say, ‘Can’t he have a little more energy?’”