Donald Trump appears on Face the Nation to address comments he made about abortion earlier in the week about regulating abortion. In a town hall event moderated by MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Trump said women should face "some sort of punishment" if abortion was outlawed. Trump later clarified that he would want the doctor held accountable for performing an illegal procedure, not the woman.
Trump told Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson he gave the controversial answer because he was asked a hypothetical question about an illegal activity. Trump's full interview on FTN below.
JOHN DICKERSON, "FACE THE NATION" MODERATOR: There's been a lot of commentary this week that this has been the worst week in your campaign. A lot of people want to stop you. Are they succeeding?
DONALD TRUMP: I don't know that it's been the worst week in my campaign. I think I have had many bad weeks, and I have had many good weeks. I don't see this as worst week in my campaign. But, certainly, I've had some weeks, and you've been reporting on them, where "that was the end," and then the next week you see poll numbers where they went up and everybody's shocked. So, yeah, people want to stop me because I'm leading by a lot. The new polls that came out had me leading by just about more than ever. NBC had a very good national poll that just came out. I guess I'm leading very big in New York and Pennsylvania.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you a question about abortion. What would you do to further restrict women's access to abortions as president?
TRUMP: Well, look, look, I just -- I mean, I know where you're going, and I just want to say -- a question was asked to me, and it was asked in a very hypothetical -- and it was said, "Illegal, illegal." 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, very-- on a very conservative basis. But --
DICKERSON: Your original answer, you mean.
TRUMP: My original --
DICKERSON: Punishing the woman.
TRUMP: -- But I was asked as a hypothetical, hypothetically, hypothetically. The laws are set now on abortion, and that's the way they're going to remain until they're changed.
DICKERSON: Because you had said you wanted -- you told Bloomberg in January that you believed abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy. Where would you--
TRUMP: Well l first of all, I would have liked to have seen, you know, this be a states' rights, I would have preferred states' rights. I think it would have been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set, and that's the way the laws are.
DICKERSON: But do you have a feeling how they should change? There are a lot of laws you want to change, you've talked about them from libel to torture, anything you'd want to change on abortion?
TRUMP: At this moment, the laws are set and I think he we have to leave it that way.
DICKERSON: Do you think it's murder, abortion?
TRUMP: I have my opinions on it, but I would rather not comment on it.
DICKERSON: You said you were very pro-life, pro-life views that abortion is murder.
TRUMP: Yeah, but I do have my opinions on it, but I'd rather -- I just don't think it's an appropriate forum.
DICKERSON: But you don't disagree that proposition, that it's murder?
TRUMP: What proposition?
DICKERSON: That abortion is murder.
TRUMP: No, I don't disagree with it.
The full extended interview of Trump on Face the Nation: