The Republican presidential front-runner made the comments in response to a question during a town hall on NBC’s “Today Show” days after his dominating win in the New York primary.
“I had a feeling that question was going to come up, I will tell you,” Trump said. “Well, look, North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price, and there’s a lot of problems. And 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 problems. Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they’re going through, with all of the business that’s leaving and all of the strife — and that’s on both sides — you leave it the way it is.”
Trump added before the enactment of House Bill 2 in North Carolina, “there have been very few complaints” and indicated transgender people should be able to use the public restroom they think is appropriate for them.
“People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,” Trump said. “There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic, I mean, the economic punishment that they’re taking. So I would say that’s probably the best way.”
Trump said he doesn’t know if any transgender people work for him, but said that is “probably” the case. Asked if he’s OK with transgender personality Caitlyn Jenner coming into Trump Tower and using any restroom she chooses, Trump replied, “That is correct.”
“You know, there’s a big move to create new bathrooms,” Trump said. “The problem with that is, for transgender, that would be a, first of all, I think that would be discriminatory in a certain way. It would be unbelievably expensive for businesses and for the country. Leave it the way it is.”
Mark Curry, founder of Executive Pride, a network of members and supporters of the LGBT business community, said Trump was exactly right about North Carolina law.
“Donald Trump has sparked controversy with his statements on an array of issues over recent months, but he was dead right with regard to his comments about North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill,” Curry said. “The bill is discriminatory, and spotlights the ongoing problem we have in this country of government setting out to solve problems that never actually existed in the first place, and wreaking economic havoc and damage in the process.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who remain Trump’s rival even though it’s now mathematically impossible for him to claim the Republican presidential nomination, criticized Trump for taking a position against the law.
“Donald Trump is no different from politically correct leftist elites. Today, he joined them in calling for grown men to be allowed to use little girls’ public restrooms,” Cruz said. “As the dad of young daughters, I dread what this will mean for our daughters – and for our sisters and our wives. It is a reckless policy that will endanger our loved ones. Yet Donald stands up for this irresponsible policy while at the same time caving in on defending individual freedoms and religious liberty. He has succumbed to the Left’s agenda, which is to force Americans to leave God out of public life while paying lip service to false tolerance.”