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Donald Trump Was Very Careful Not to Criticize Obama’s Pro-Transgender Directive

Considering the fact that Donald Trump is now the presumptive nominee of the entire Republican party, you might expect him to vehemently criticize President Barack Obama‘s new pro-transgender directive to all U.S. Public schools. The order comes in the form of a letter that is expected to go out today from the White House that tells all public school districts that transgender students can use the bathroom that matches their identity; it reads in part, “A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”

However, Trump is no average Republican, and so in place of where most members of his party may blast the President for drastic overreach or, to put it as bluntly as Texas Senator Ted Cruz once did, “You don’t have a right to intrude upon the rights of others because whether or not a man believes he’s a woman,” Trump has a different response. Instead, he played the middle ground on Friday morning when asked about it on two separate morning shows.

GMA’s George Stephanopoulos opened his interview with the real estate mogul by asking about the President’s “sweeping directive,” and Trump uncharacteristically did not blast the administration; simply, he responded, “Well, I believe it should be states’ rights.”

“I think the state should make the decision, I think they’re more than capable of making the decision, I felt that from the beginning,” he calmly noted.

“So you’re against this administration’s directive?” asked Stephanopoulos in an effort to clarify Trump’s stance.

“I just think it should be states’ rights,” he said simply to button up the topic, encouraging Stephanopoulos to move on. Trump later repeated this same line during his phone-in interview with Fox & Friends in a quiet and nothing-to-see-here manner.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee seems to have a slightly different take on the newly-emerging and hotly contested conversation in this country regarding the rights of the transgender community. In February, the RNC approved a resolution to endorse the so-called “bathroom bills,” reading in part, “The Republican National Committee calls on the Department of Education to rescind its interpretation of Title IX that wrongly includes facility use issues by transgender students.” The resolution served as a formal rejection of President Obama’s interpretation of Title IX — the exact spirit behind the administration’s directive to public schools today — and the RNC slammed Obama’s work on this issue, saying that it “infringes on the rights of privacy and conscience of other students.”

Trump removed himself from this view last month. During an interview with Matt Lauer of TODAY, Trump admitted that if Caitlyn Jenner walked into Trump Towers, she would be welcome to use the bathroom that matches her identity as a woman, although, according to the RNC, this is “an identity that conflicts with [the] anatomical sex,” of a person. This is one of the issues where the real estate mogul seems to have a fundamental difference with the party he now represents, and especially in the wake of the Obama administration’s move Friday, watch for this to become a bigger sticking point in future rounds of the Trump-Ryan-Priebus circus meetings.


J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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