The tapes were from an off-the-record conversation
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have called on Donald Trump to release a recording made in a meeting with the New York Times that could reveal him holding a softer position on immigration than he’s declared in public.
The tape, from a meeting for Trump to argue his case for the paper’s endorsement (standard for presidential candidates), is partly off the record. It has been speculated by those with knowledge of the conversation that in the off-the-record section, he may have said his plan to deport millions of immigrants would be backpedaled once he were in office. As BuzzFeed reports, a pair of lines in a recent column by Gail Collins (who was in the meeting) may be more than theoretical:
The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.
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Cruz and Rubio seized on the BuzzFeed article and have now both called on their rival for the Republican nomination to give the Times permission to release the tape, which the paper says it would do with Trump’s go-ahead.
Trump has not yet responded to BuzzFeed’s request for comment.