In a Hannity town hall interview that aired on Fox News Wednesday night, Donald Trump was finally pinned down on whether or not he was abandoning his commitment to deport all 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.
Faced with a question about his signature policy issue—his promise to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants—Trump did what any good "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" contestant would do: he asked the audience.
We have to follow the laws. Now can we be—and I'll ask the audience—you have somebody who's terrific who's been here…long time, long court proceeding, long everything, in other words, to get them out. Can we go through a process, or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don't know.
Trump didn't seem to be asking rhetorically. The Fox News audience members erupted in cheers for their preferred position.
Later, Trump tried a slightly more formal voting procedure to settle the same question—whether undocumented immigrants who don't have criminal records and aren't affiliated with gangs should be deported immediately, or put through some sort of screening process.
So now we have the person, 20 years, upstanding person, the family's great, everyone's great. Do we throw them out or try and work with them. Ready? Number one, we'll say throw them out, number two we say work with them. Ready? Number one!
A smattering of "woos" and "yeahs" could be heard throughout the audience for "number one." When Trump proceeded to yell "number two"—the more moderate position—a much louder cheer carried the day.
Trump then went on to clarify that the hypothetical softer position would include "no amnesty," "no citizenship," and would require anyone staying in the country to pay back taxes. If that sounds familiar, that's because it is essentially the same position taken by Jeb Bush during the Republican primary. At the time, Bush's plan was met with derision from Trump, who accused Jeb Bush of being "the weakest person by far" on immigration.
Trump did not formally commit to any position during the town hall, saying instead that his campaign would "come out with a decision very soon."
As the pro-Clinton PAC Correct the Record noted on Thursday morning, Trump spokesman Katrina Pierson continues to maintain that Trump "hasn't changed his position on immigration."
Perhaps, before he makes his final decision on immigration, he'll phone a friend.