Trump would be open to meeting with Jackie Evancho, Spicer says

The singer asked to meet with him to discuss transgender rights.

February 23, 2017, 6:41 PM

— -- President Donald Trump would be open to meeting with Jackie Evancho, the singer who requested time with him to discuss transgender rights, the White House said Thursday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a briefing that he believes the president "would be welcome to meet with her."

Trump himself has not commented on the matter.

Evancho, the opera singer who performed at the presidential inauguration last month, said Wednesday evening that she was "disappointed" in the Trump administration's decision to roll back protections for transgender students.

Evancho's sister, Juliet, is transgender.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration withdrew guidelines set by former President Barack Obama's administration that allowed transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

"@realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts," Evancho wrote.

She also tweeted, "I am obviously disappointed in the @POTUS decision to send the #transgender bathroom issue to the states to decide. #sisterlove"

The Trump administration cited legal confusion stemming from the Obama administration's guidance in issuing its decision. Instead, they said it was an issue best left to the states to decide.

"As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level," the White House said in a statement. "The joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators."

Last year, Trump was asked about the much-discussed "bathroom law" that was signed in North Carolina, which prohibited people from using public bathrooms or locker rooms that didn't correspond with the sex on their birth certificate.

At the time, Trump said during an interview the Today show that people should be permitted to "use the bathroom they feel is appropriate."

However, Spicer said that the president is "a firm believer in states' rights."

"Certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level," he said.

Former "America's Got Talent" runner-up Evancho, 16, faced criticism for agreeing to perform at Trump's inauguration, but she told ABC News that the positive reinforcement she received from her family and fans was "what matters to me." The singer also said that although her sister was unable to attend because of "personal things," she knew that she had her support.

"I wish I could be there for her, too, and she wishes she was here for me, but we’re there in spirit," Evancho said.

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