Trump changes stance on minimum wage

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he's allowed to be flexible on policies. Photo / AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he's allowed to be flexible on policies. Photo / AP

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in television interviews broadcast today that he would like an increase in the minimum wage and that it is best that such a change happen at the state level.

In the past, Trump has opposed raising the minimum wage. But in recent days, he has increasingly warmed to the idea.

"I have seen what's going on, and I don't know how people make it on $7.25," Trump said on NBC's Meet the Press, referencing the federal minimum hourly wage. "With that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude, but I'd rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide."

Speaking on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos, the business mogul said, "I haven't decided in terms of numbers, but I think people have to get more."

He acknowledged that he was putting forth a position at odds with his previous stance. "Sure, it's a change. I'm allowed to change. You need flexibility," he said.

In a Republican presidential debate in November, Trump was asked about calls to increase the minimum wage and responded: "Taxes too high, wages too high. We're not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is."

Trump also predicted that once his tax plan - which gives tax cuts to the wealthy - is negotiated in the legislative process, it will actually prompt some increases in taxes for the rich.

"In my plan, they are going down, but by the time it's negotiated, they'll go up," he said on "This Week."

In the interviews, Trump weighed in on House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement last week that he was not ready to back the mogul. The two are slated to meet this week.

Asked on Meet the Press whether Ryan of Wisconsin should be chairman of the Republican National Convention if he cannot endorse him, Trump left open the possibility of trying to dislodge the speaker from that position.

"I don't want to mention now. I'll see after. I will give you a very solid answer if that happens about one minute after that happens," Trump said. "There's no reason to give it right now."

On CBS's Face the Nation, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton expanded on her labeling of Trump as a "loose cannon," saying she was talking about his policy agenda and his comments on the campaign trail.

"I am talking about what he has said in this campaign, and continues to say, and the kind of agenda he's putting forth for our country, which, obviously, I think would, you know, not be in the best interest," Clinton said.

Meanwhile, as Trump moves ahead on picking a running mate, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said on CNN's State of the Union that she would "of course" be willing to be considered.

- Washington Post

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