Donald Trump Jr. spoke on his dad's behalf to CNN's Anderson Cooper
He said his comments on immigration amounted to listening to the American people
Watch Anderson Cooper’s full interview with Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET.
Donald Trump Jr. defended his father’s immigration position Tuesday ahead of the Republican presidential candidate’s detailed policy speech this week, saying the real estate mogul “wasn’t softening on anything.”
The younger Trump hit back against accusations that his father had flip-flopped last week on the hardline immigration policy he pushed during the primaries when he appeared to poll an audience during a town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“He wasn’t softening on anything. He didn’t change his stance on anything,” Trump Jr. told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “What he did was, and what he’s done all along is, he’s speaking with the people. He’s not lecturing them like most of the politicians you see today. He’s actually having a conversation.”
He added: “He basically surveyed the room and asked, ‘Hey, what are your thoughts on this? I want to take that because I want to take into account what the people say.’”
The Republican presidential nominee was asked by Hannity whether there was any part of his hardline immigration policy that could change to accommodate law-abiding undocumented immigrants.
“I had a great meeting with great people, great Hispanic leaders, and there could certainly be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people,” Trump responded. “We want people – we have some great people in this country. We have some great, great people in this country but we’re going to follow the laws of this country and what people don’t realize – we have very, very strong laws.”
Trump Jr. contrasted his father’s policy formulation method to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Unlike our opponent, who basically will take into account only those who contribute millions and millions of dollars to her campaign, he’s actually having a conversation with the people of this country, the hardworking men and women who made this country great,” Trump Jr said. “He’s giving them a voice. He asked an opinion, he didn’t say ‘well, my policy’s now changed.’”
Trump Jr. confirmed that he father would still push for the deportation of undocumented immigrants if elected in November.
“That’s been the same,” he said. “Correct, but again you have to start with baby steps. You have to let (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) do their job, you have to eliminate the sanctuary cities, you have to get rid of the criminals certainly first and foremost, you have to secure the border. These are common sense things, Anderson.”