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Donald Trump 'evolving' on issue of gay rights

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Donald Trump spoke with Thomas Roberts hours before the Miss Universe pageant.

Donald Trump described himself as “evolving” on the issue of LGBT rights Saturday in an interview in Russia with openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts. 

Trump, who is co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, is in Moscow for Saturday night's Miss Universe pageant, which will be co-hosted by Roberts. 

The choice of Moscow as host city was not without controversy for both Trump and the Miss Universe Organization. Russia is a country at the center of a debate about gay and lesbian rights, with supporters calling for a boycott of the country since the enactment of the country's strict anti-gay laws, which call for the arrest of those who are openly LGBT. 

Thomas Roberts: I haven't faced anti-gay discrimination in Russia

"We have a lot of gay people who work at the Miss Universe pageant, and we said, 'What do you think?' And they said, ‘We want to go, we want to show our stuff,'” Trump said of the controversy.

Roberts went on to press Trump on the issue of same-sex marriage, asking what his advocacy of equality in Russia meant for his views on that debate in the U.S.  

Miss Universe hopefuls overcome odds, from cancer to racial barriers 

Trump said the issue is one that’s rapidly evolving. 

“I think really what you have is a very changing stance, and you see if changing very rapidly. If you go back ten years ago it’s very different,” Trump said.

When asked about his own evolution, Trump echoed a sentiment he’s said in the past, saying, “I think I’m evolving, and I think I’m a very fair person, but I have been for traditional marriage...I am for traditional marriage, I am for a marriage between a man and a woman.”

Miss Universe will air Saturday, Nov. 9, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. Roberts will co-host the pageant with style expert Jeannie Mai, reigning Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, Nick Templitz of sports website The Fumble, and former Spice Girl Mel B. 

  • Slideshow Photos

    Miss Universe 2013: The National Costume Show

    On Nov. 9, 86 ladies from around the world will vie for the title of Miss Universe in Moscow. Take a look at the contenders all dressed up in dramatic outfits inspired by their home countries for the annual National Costume Show.

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    Miss Universe 2013 national costumes

    On Nov. 9, 86 ladies from around the world will vie for the title of Miss Universe in Moscow. Take a look at the contenders all dressed up in dramatic outfits inspired by their home countries for the annual National Costume Show.

    Olivia Wells, Miss Australia 2013, competes in her costume during the 2013 Miss Universe National Costume Show at the cultural and trading center in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Austria

    Doris Hofmann, Miss Austria 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Aruba

    Stefanie Guillen Evangelista, Miss Aruba 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Argentina

    Brenda Gonzalez, Miss Argentina, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Angola

    Vaumara Rebelo, Miss Angola 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Botswana

    Tsaone Macheng, Miss Botswana 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Azerbaijan

    Aysel Manafova, Miss Azerbaijan 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Bolivia

    Alexia Viruez, Miss Bolivia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Bahamas

    Lexi Wilson, Miss Bahamas 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Belgium

    Noemie Happart, Miss Belgium 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Canada

    Riza Santos, Miss Canada 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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    Miss China

    Jin Ye, Miss China 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Croatia

    Melita Fabecic, Miss Croatia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Colombia

    Lucia Aldana, Miss Colombia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Czech Republic

    Gabriela Kratochvilova, Miss Czech Republic 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Costa Rica

    Fabiana Granados, Miss Costa Rica 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Chile

    Maria-Jesus Matthei, Miss Chile 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Curacao

    Eline de Pool, Miss Curacao 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss British Virgin Islands

    Sharie de Castro, Miss British Virgin Islands 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Bulgaria

    Veneta Krasteva, Miss Bulgaria 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Brazil

    Jakelyne Oliveira, Miss Brazil 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Dominican Republic

    Yaritza Reyes, Miss Dominican Republic 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Ecuador

    Constanza Baez, Miss Ecuador 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Gabon

    Jennifer Ondo, Miss Gabon 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss France

    Hinarani de Longeaux, Miss France 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Finland

    Lotta Hintsa, Miss Finland 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Ethiopia

    Maheder Tigabe, Miss Ethiopia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss El Salvador

    Alba Delgado, Miss El Salvador 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Estonia

    Kristina Karjalainen, Miss Estonia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Denmark

    Cecilia Iftikhar, Miss Denmark 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Ghana

    Hanniel Jamin, Miss Ghana 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Guatemala

    Paulette Samayoa, Miss Guatemala 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Germany

    Anne Julia Hagen, Miss Germany 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Guam

    Alixes Scott, Miss Guam 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Greece

    Anastasia Sidiropoulou, Miss Greece 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Great Britain

    Amy Willerton, Miss Great Britain 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Guyana

    Katherina Roshana, Miss Guyana 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Honduras

    Diana Schoutsen, Miss Honduras 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Hungary

    Rebeka Karpati, Miss Hungary 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Haiti

    Mondiana Pierre, Miss Haiti 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss India

    Manasi Moghe, Miss India 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Indonesia

    Whulandary, Miss Indonesia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Israel

    Titi Yitayish Ayanaw, Miss Israel 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Italy

    Luna Voce, Miss Italy 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Jamaica

    Kerrie Baylis, Miss Jamaica 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Japan

    Yukimi Matsuo, Miss Japan 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Kazakhstan

    Aygerim Kozhakanova, Miss Kazakhstan 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Lithuania

    Simona Burbaite, Miss Lithuania 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Lebanon

    Karen Ghrawi, Miss Lebanon 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Korea

    Yumi Kim, Miss Korea 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Netherlands

    Stephanie Tency, Miss Netherlands 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Peru

    Cindy Mejia, Miss Peru 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Mexico

    Cynthia Duque, Miss Mexico 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Mauritius

    Diya Beeltah, Miss Mauritius 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Panama

    Carolina Brid, Miss Panama 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Slovenia

    Nina Durdevic, Miss Slovenia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Singapore

    Shi Lim, Miss Singapore 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Amanda Ratnayake, Miss Sri Lanka 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Sweden

    Alexandra Friberg, Miss Sweden 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Romania

    Roxana Andrei, Miss Romania 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Slovak Republic

    Jeanette Borhyova, Miss Slovak Republic 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss South Africa

    Marilyn Ramos, Miss South Africa 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Serbia

    Ana Vrcelj, Miss Serbia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Switzerland

    Dominique Rinderknecht, Miss Switzerland 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Spain

    Patricia Yurena Rodriguez, Miss Spain 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Vietnam

    Truong Thi May, Miss Vietnam 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Russia

    Elmira Abdrazakova, Miss Russia 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Turks & Caicos

    Snwazna Adams, Miss Turks & Caicos 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Ukraine

    Olga Storozhenko, Miss Ukraine 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Thailand

    Chalita Yaemwannang, Miss Thailand 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Tanzania

    Betty Omara, Miss Tanzania 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss Trinidad & Tobago

    Catherine Miller, Miss Trinidad & Tobago 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 3.

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    Miss USA

    Erin Brady, Miss USA 2013, competes in the National Costume Show in Moscow on Nov. 3.

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