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Donald Trump 'evolving' on issue of gay rights

Nov. 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM ET

NBC News
NBC News
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 

Video: Savannah Guthrie previews the upcoming Miss Universe competition with host Thomas Roberts.

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. 

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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