On Thursday, Donald Trump was asked about laws that discriminate against a minority group. But it didn't go how you might think.
Trump was asked about North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ law — specifically, its ban on transgender people using the bathroom in schools and government buildings that aligns with their gender identity. He came out in opposition to North Carolina's law.
"North Carolina did something [that] was very strong, and they're paying a big price, and there's a lot of problems," Trump said at a town hall with the Today show, referring to the "economic punishment" the state is seeing as a result of the law.
Trump then said that North Carolina shouldn't have made changes restricting trans people's bathroom use: "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."
Asked whether he would let Caitlyn Jenner, a trans woman, use the bathroom for her gender identity at Trump Tower, he said he would. He added, "There's a big move to create new bathrooms. Problem with that is … 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."
Trump is … right.
For one, North Carolina has already jeopardized plenty of future business through the passage of its law. In the last month, the state lost hundreds of potential jobs after PayPal and Deutsche Bank pulled expansions in protest of the law. A+E Networks and 21st Century Fox said they would reconsider using North Carolina as a filming location in the future. And more than 130 major CEOs signed a letter asking North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to repeal the law.
Supporters of anti-trans laws like North Carolina's claim that letting trans people use the bathroom for their gender identity will allow men to go into women's bathrooms and sexually assault and harass women. But, as Trump said, there are generally no major problems if trans people are allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Experts from 12 states with laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination told Media Matters that they don't know of a single reported instance of sexual assaults in bathrooms stemming from the laws, which generally allow trans people to use the bathroom for their gender identity.
In another investigation, Media Matters also found that 17 school districts around the country with protections for LGBTQ people, which collectively covered more than 600,000 students, had no problems with harassment in bathrooms or locker rooms after implementing their policies.
So Trump is right. But given that the candidate has changed his stance on all sorts of issues in the past, it's worth keeping an eye on whether this position sticks.