A handful of things in Donald Trump's political cosmology are fixed: You can be (mostly) sure that the wall with Mexico and the love of tariffs will persist from day to day. But pretty much everything else is subject to change and—fittingly for the artist of the deal—negotiable.
Take the Republican front-runner’s stance on North Carolina’s controversial HB2, which (among other things) mandates that transgender people use bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender with which they now identify.
On Thursday, Trump criticized the law during a Today show town hall. “North Carolina, what they’re going through with all the business that’s leave and all the strife, and that’s on both sides,” he said. “You leave it the way it is… 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.”
The answer wasn’t some spur-of-the-moment improvisation. Trump prefaced his answer by saying he had expected a question about HB2. Trump’s rival Ted Cruz, who supports the North Carolina law, wasted no time attacking Trump for it, including in a menacing video. By Thursday evening, when he appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Trump was asked to state his position. Hannity’s question was leading—he basically invited Trump to offer his support for the law.