Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Friday that he does not believe laws regulating abortion should change, despite saying he agreed the controversial procedure is murder.
In an interview with CBS News, Trump tried to clarify to "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson the controversial remarks on the topic he made earlier this week. On Wednesday, Trump said that "there has to be some form of punishment" for women who would have abortions if it were to be outlawed. He later reversed his comment.
"A question was asked to me. And it was asked in a very hypothetical. And it was said, 'Illegal, illegal,'" Trump said. "I've been told by some people that was a older line answer and that was an answer that was given on a, you know, basis of an older line from years ago on a very conservative basis."
"Your original answer, you mean?" Dickerson asked.
"But I was asked as a hypothetical. Hypothetically, hypothetically. The laws are set now on abortion and that's how they're going to remain until they're changed," Trump said.
Dickerson told Trump that he perviously argued abortion should be banned at some point in the pregnancy.
"Well, first of all I would've liked to have seen this be a states' rights. I would've preferred states' rights. I think it would've been better if it were up to the states," Trump said. "But right now, the laws are set. And that's the way the laws are."
Dickerson continued to press the billionaire.
"But do you have a feeling of how they should change?" he asked. "There are a lot of laws you want to change. You've talked about everything from libel to torture. Anything you want to change?"
"At this moment the laws are set and I think we have to leave it that way," Trump said.
"Do you think it's murder, abortion?" Dickerson asked.
"Um, I have my opinions on it but I'd rather not comment on it," Trump replied. "[I] do have my opinions on it, but I rather — I don't think it's an appropriate forum."
"But you don't disagree with that proposition?" Dickerson pressed.
"What proposition?" Trump asked.
"That abortion is murder," Dickerson said.
"No, I don't disagree," Trump answered.
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m. ET: Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks issued a statement about his comments:
.@realDonaldTrump spox Hope Hicks walks back Trump abortion comments to CBS. Says Trump WILL change law on abortion https://t.co/1oedertZbC— Jeremy Diamond (@Jeremy Diamond)1459556719.0
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: