NEW YORK, N.Y. – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is tweaking his stance on North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law less than a day after he voiced his opposition to the legislation and suggested the state should just “leave it the way it is.”
“I love North Carolina, and they have a law, and it’s a law that, you know, unfortunately is causing them some problems,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview Thursday night. “And I fully understand that they want to go through, but they are losing business, and they are having people come out against.”
“I think that local communities and states should make the decision,” he went on to say. “And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”
“In other words, let the state decide,” Hannity responded. “Kind of like your positions on education, give it back to the states.”
“Yeah, let them decide,” Trump said. “Absolutely.”
The statements on Fox News came shortly after Trump faced backlash over an NBC interview in which he said that before the state’s controversial bathroom law, “there have been very few problems.”
RELATED: Trump says North Carolina should not have passed HB2
“Leave it the way it is,” Trump said on NBC’s “Today” show. “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom 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 — I mean the economic punishment that they’re taking.”
Several celebrities and corporations, including PayPal, have pulled their business out of North Carolina over HB2, which stops local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules and requires transgender students to use bathrooms assigned to their biological sex at birth.
But some politicians, like Trump rival Ted Cruz, came out in support of the state’s law and slammed Trump’s stance on it.
“Donald agreed with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in attacking the state of North Carolina for passing their bathroom ordinance,” Cruz said at a rally in Frederick, Maryland. “And Donald on television this morning said gosh he thought men should be able to go into the girls’ bathroom if they want to. Now let me ask you: Have we gone stark raving nuts?”
In Trump’s Thursday interview with Hannity, the Republican front-runner also looked forward to the general election campaign, foreseeing roles for current surrogates Ben Carson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on his team.
“I can tell you that Ben Carson — Dr. Ben Carson — is a terrific guy,” Trump said. “He endorsed me, and Chris Christie endorsed me, and he is a fantastic guy. These are two tremendous people. I’d like to have them.”
Trump also said he would “love” to involve Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a former 2016 rival who has yet to endorse a candidate in the GOP primary race.
“Frankly, Marco, I’d love to have involved,” Trump said. “Honestly many of them — almost all of them. I’m not saying all of them, but almost all of them. This party has to unite. If we unite, this party is going to have a huge party.”