Donald Trump may not be such a hardliner on illegal immigration after all. In an off-the-record discussion with New York Times editors, he revealed some flexibility on the issue—if a Buzzfeed report can be believed. Trump held the conversation with Times editors on January 5 as one of several candidates seeking the paper's endorsement. The Times has revealed an on-the-record portion in a dispute with Trump over his plan to slap tariffs on Chinese goods, but Trump's off-the-record chat has "reached near-mythical status at the Times," per Buzzfeed. Just what did he say? According to Buzzfeed's unnamed sources, Times columnist Gail Collins may have given a clue in her Saturday column when she wrote about Trump:
- "So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session."
Neither Collins nor Times Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet would comment on the off-the-record conversation, and editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal says the paper will only consider releasing it with Trump's approval. Naturally, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are calling for Trump to have the recording released, the Washington Post reports. In a CNN interview tweeted by Cruz, the GOP candidate says he wants the "secret tape" made public before Super Tuesday. But as the Post points out, Trump already revealed a willingness to negotiate on illegal immigration in a Washington Examiner interview in January. "They are very strong positions," Trump said about his immigration stance. "It doesn't mean you're not going to negotiate a little bit, but I guess there will always be some negotiation." (Read more Donald Trump 2016 stories.)