Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took an opportunity to address controversial remarks he recently made about abortion, claiming that "it could be I that misspoke” about “a long convoluted subject,” during a phone interview on "The O'Reilly Factor" on Thursday evening.
During an interview with MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Wednesday evening, Trump said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions.
The remarks were condemned by pro-life and pro-choice groups alike. Trump later issued a statement in an effort to clarify his position, arguing that should abortion become illegal, the provider, not the woman undergoing the procedure, would be held responsible under the law.
Guest host Eric Bolling said the media has been "making a lot of hay" about the remarks, and asked Trump for his response.
"It could be that I misspoke, but this was a long convoluted subject," Trump replied. “You really ought to hear the whole thing. This was a long convoluted question. This was a long discussion and they just cut it out. And frankly it was really convoluted."
Trump said he had a “very long, convoluted discussion” with Chris Matthews “which frankly they don’t run on television because its too long.”
However, in a statement to Mediaite, a spokesperson for MSNBC said that Trump's conversation with Matthews was not edited and was “aired in its entirety.”
"Absolutely no part of the exchange between Trump and Chris Matthews was edited out,” the MSNBC spokesperson said.
When asked for comment about Trump’s claim, Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for Trump, told TheBlaze that “Mr. Trump was referring to the news media coverage of the exchange, not MSNBC's town hall.”
Trump’s claim that he is pro-life is a reversal from his previously held position on the issue. During a 1999 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump called himself “pro-choice in every respect.”
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