Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends that he’s “not flip-flopping,” but wants to come up with “a really fair, but firm” solution.
Trump had previously proposed using a “deportation force” to remove the 11 million people living in the United States illegally— a proposal that excited many of his core supporters, but alienated Hispanic voters who could be pivotal in key states.
Republican leaders fear Trump can’t win and could drag down Republican congressional candidates — if he doesn’t increase his support beyond his white, male base.
Trump met at the weekend with Hispanic supporters, representatives of a community that has been wary of the billionaire businessman’s deportation proposals and his plans to build a giant wall on the US-Mexico border.
Questioned on whether Trump still intends to deploy the deportation force, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said: “To be determined.”
Trump’s comments come as Republican officials say the nominee is finally hitting his stride and will catch up with Democrat Hillary Clinton by early September, following a major shake-up to his campaign. Polls now mostly show Trump lagging Clinton by 5 percentage points or more nationally.
“Donald Trump has been disciplined and mature. And I think he’s going to get this thing back on track,” said Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman.
Conway echoed the optimism of Priebus, contending that the candidate just had the best week of his campaign, “mostly because he’s able to be himself, the authentic Donald Trump.”
Conway was named to her post last week in a shake-up in which the campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, resigned and conservative media firebrand Stephen Bannon, who led Breitbart News, took over as campaign chief executive.
A new style was immediately evident as Trump, in a first, offered regrets for any remarks that had caused offence, stuck with his teleprompter at a series of events, and paid a visit to flood-ravaged Louisiana.