The matter of allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identities should be decided on the state level, not by the White House, Donald Trump said Friday.
"I'd leave that up to the states,"Trump said on NBC's "Today" show. "That and other things, frankly. Let the states decide. It's much better as a local issue. I don't think it is a federal issue, where the federal government gets involved."
Trump said he believes "everybody has to be protected," but when it comes to transgender students, "you're talking about a tiny, tiny group of the population. With that being said, everybody has to be protected. I would leave it up to the states."
His comments on Friday were slightly different than they were during an April town hall on the "Today" show, when he commented that when it comes to North Carolina's bathroom law, he would have left things as they were, rather than pass a law requiring that people use bathrooms based on the sex listed on their birth certificates, because "there have been very few complaints the way it is."
The White House's directiveorders all public school district in the United States to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match the gender identity they have chosen, not the bathrooms corresponding with the sex with which they were born.
"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement accompanying the rule.