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Donald Trump: Minimum wage has to go up
01:00 - Source: CNN

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Donald Trump supports setting the federal minimum wage at $10 an hour

The Republican presidential nominee made the comments Tuesday on Fox News

CNN  — 

Donald Trump said Tuesday he would support raising the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour, a departure from his previous assertion that wages are “too high.”

The Republican presidential nominee was pressed to provide a specific number by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, who said, “there has to be a federal minimum wage.”

Trump initially dismissed that suggestion.

“There doesn’t have to be,” Trump said. “I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people. I know it’s not very Republican to say.”

“Ten bucks?” O’Reilly asked.

“I would say 10. I would say 10,” Trump agreed. “But with the understanding that somebody like me is going to bring back jobs. I don’t want people to be in that $10 category for very long. But the thing is, Bill, let the states make the deal.”

Asked to clarify his position at a press conference on Wednesday morning in Doral, Florida, Trump said once again that the federal minimum wage should be raised to “at least $10” but that “states should really call the shots.”

“As an example, I live in New York. It’s very expensive in New York. You can’t buy a hot dog for the money you’re talking about,” Trump said. “You go to other states and it’s not expensive at all. Now what it does is it puts New York at a disadvantage if the minimum wage is, companies move out and things – you know, bad things happen. At the same time, people have to be taken care of. But what I’m really going to do with minimum wage, it has to go up.”

Bernie Sanders assailed Trump on Monday night at the Democratic National Convention, telling delegates that the GOP nominee “believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25,” which is the current federal minimum wage.

At the press conference on Wednesday, Trump said Sanders “lied.”

“Bernie Sanders said in his speech the other day that Donald Trump wants the minimum wage to go below $7,” Trump said. “I said, ‘Where did he come up with that one?’”

Trump has said in the past that he believes the minimum wage should be decided by the states, but his position on the issue has changed over time.

At a Republican presidential debate last November, Trump said he couldn’t support protesters demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

“Taxes too high, wages too high,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”

But in May, Trump signaled in an interview with CNN that he would be in favor of raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, saying “people have to get more.”