Donald Trump: Transgender people should get to pick their bathroom

By Eric DuVall  |  Updated April 21, 2016 at 2:53 PM
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NEW YORK, April 21 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said transgender people should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choosing, not their gender from birth as a new law in North Carolina requires.

Trump made the comments during a town hall event on NBC's Today show Thursday morning. Trump said the economic "strife" North Carolina is undergoing as a result of its transgender bathroom law isn't worth the hassle.

"Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they're going through with all the business that's leaving, all of the strife -- and this is on both sides. Leave it the way it is," he said. "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 -- I mean, the economic punishment that they're taking."

Trump's opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, responded, calling Trump "stark raving nuts" at a campaign event in Frederick, Md., on Thursday afternoon.

"Grown adult men -- strangers -- should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls," Cruz said. "Have we gone stark raving nuts?"

Numerous businesses have halted plans to move or expand in North Carolina in the wake of the law's passage, and entertainers have canceled events there since Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law.

McCrory defended the legislation in the wake of Trump's comments.

"Where the governor disagrees with Mr. Trump is that bathroom and shower facilities in our schools should be kept separate and special accommodations made when needed. It's just common sense," McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz said in a statement.

Also during Thursday's town hall, Trump called the decision to put abolitionist and Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill "political correctness."

Trump suggested removing Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president who, like Trump riled the nation with his overtly populist stances, was unfair.

"I think it's pure political correctness. [Jackson has] been on the bill for many, many years and really represented somebody that was very important to this country," Trump said, calling Jackson a president with "a great history of tremendous success."

Many historians regard Jackson, who signed legislation leading to the mass killing and uprooting of Native American tribes known as the "Trail of Tears," as a president with a controversial legacy.

Trump suggested Tubman's likeness should be put on the $2 bill, or the Treasury could come up with a new denomination and use her face on that bill instead.

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