Last Friday, the Obama administration sent out a letter threatening public schools with the loss of federal funding if they refuse to submit to the left’s radical transgender ideology. That morning, Donald Trump responded to the directive in several television interviews, signaling personal ambivalence on the issue but stressing that it should be left up to the states.
Trump was first asked about the issue during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America”:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you think of that directive from the administration on transgender rights?
DONALD TRUMP: Well I believe that it should be states’ rights, and I think the states should make the decision.They’re more capable of making the decision. I’ve felt that way from the beginning.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re against this administration’s directive?
TRUMP: I just think it should be states’ rights. I think that many things, actually, should be states’ rights, but this is a perfect example of it.
Trump later expounded on this during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show:
I would leave it up to the states. I would leave that, and many other things, frankly, but I would leave that up to the states. Let the states decide. And I think it’s much better as a local issue, I don’t think it’s a federal issue where the federal government gets involved. And I see what’s happening and it’s become such a big situation, and, you know what, everybody has to be protected and I feel strongly about that but you’re talking about a tiny, tiny group of the population. With that being said, everybody has to be protected, but I would leave it up to the states.
He also reiterated this position on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends”:
TRUMP: Well I think this should be a states issue. It’s become a huge story, and yet it affects — and everybody has to be protected, if it’s one person — but it’s a tiny, tiny portion of the population, and it’s become a massive story. I think this should be a states’ issue, as many other things should be, by the way, and the states should decide.
HOST: Do you think boys […] should use the bathroom of the gender they were born with?
TRUMP: Well right now, it’s a new issue and right now I just don’t have an opinion but what I would like to do, I would like to see the states make that decision.
Danny Cannon works for the American Principles Project.