Donald Trump discusses immigration, Pam Bondi and Hillary Clinton with press

A look at the many topics discussed by the Republican nominee on the jaunt between Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, this Labor Day.

By: AP | Youngstown | Published:September 6, 2016 4:22 am
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with press, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016, aboard his campaign plane while flying over Ohio, as Vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., left, looks on. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with press, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016, aboard his campaign plane while flying over Ohio, as Vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., left, looks on. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump extended a rare invitation to a handful of reporters to join him Monday on his private jet in between campaign stops in Ohio.

A look at the many topics discussed by the Republican nominee on the jaunt between Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, this Labor Day.

ON IMMIGRATION:
Trump softened his language on immigration when pressed by reporters.

Immigrants in the country illegally may not need to return to their countries or origin to obtain legal status, Trump said _ a position many conservatives would consider “amnesty.”

He insisted that, as president, he would prioritize deportation of criminal immigrants and build a massive wall along the Mexican border. Any immigrants who want full citizenship must return to their countries of origin and get in line, he said. But of the millions more living in the country illegally, he would not rule out a pathway to legal status.

“We’re going to make that decision into the future,” Trump told reporters in his most extensive comments on immigration since last week’s policy speech.

The statement conflicts with a line in last week’s address, when he declared: “For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for re-entry.”

ON PAM BONDI AND POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS:
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi personally solicited a political contribution from Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates.

The disclosure from Bondi’s spokesman to The Associated Press in June provided additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump’s $25,000 donation to Bondi. The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities.

“She’s a fine person,” Trump said Monday, adding he “never spoke to her about it at all.”

“Many of the attorney generals turned that case down `cause I’ll win that case in court,” he said.

Trump did not directly answer a question about what he’d hoped to get from the donation, saying Bondi has “done an amazing job as the attorney general of Florida.”

TO DEBATE OR NOT TO DEBATE:
Trump said he plans to take part in all three presidential debates against rival Hillary Clinton.

The Republican nominee was rumored to be considering skipping at least one of the debates. But he told journalists Monday that only something along the lines of a “hurricane” or “natural disaster” would keep him from participating.

“I look forward to the debates,” Trump told reporters, saying he regards them as “an important element of what we’re doing. I think you have an obligation to do the debates.”

He did not address the debate he skipped during the primary season.

As for preparation, Trump said he does not believe in doing mock debates, as is tradition for many candidates. “I’ve seen people do so much prep work that when they get out there they can’t speak.”

The first debate between Trump and Clinton is scheduled for September 26.

Hillary Clinton’s message this Labor Day was that she would bring back jobs if elected, but Trump said: “She can’t. She doesn’t have a clue.”

“She doesn’t have the energy to bring `em back,” he told reporters. “You need energy, man. And she doesn’t have the energy or the stamina to bring `em back. It is a grueling process. You’re fighting a lot of different forces.”

He also mentioned Clinton’s energy level while referencing his recent trips to flood-battered Louisiana and to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto.

“She didn’t have the energy to go to Louisiana. And she didn’t have the energy to go to Mexico.”