(CNSNews.com) - "Everything's negotiable," Republican Donald Trump told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night. The topic was immigration.
Hannity asked Trump about a New York Times column that hinted -- based on an off-the-record conversation with Trump in January -- that his strong stance on immigration may be more flexible than he has indicated.
"The New York Times is claiming today that they had an off-the-record conversation with you in January. Off the record, by the way, now they're leaking it," Hannity told Trump.
Trump blasted newspaper as "dishonest," but he confirmed he met with the newspaper's editorial board on Jan. 5.
"It was off the record. All of a sudden, they leak it. It's all the over the place," Trump said.
Hannity told Trump, "They said, oh you're -- that you're -- it's negotiable on the law."
"By the way, it is negotiable," Trump responded. "Things are negotiable. I'll be honest with you. You know, I'll make the wall two feet shorter or something. I mean, everything's negotiable."
But Trump said there's no negotiating about actually building the wall: "Building it? Not negotiable," he said.
Hannity asked Trump, "Would it be negotiable about the 11 million (illegal aliens), maybe let some people stay if they register in a period of time?"
"I would say this," Trump answered. "Look, I've always said we have some good people over here, and they're going to go out, but we will work out some system that's fair. But we either have a country or we don't. We need a border. We need a wall. We need a wall.
"You know, I won New Hampshire, and they have a tremendous heroin problem. And I promised the people of New Hampshire we're going to stop that heroin from coming in. It's a very hard thing to kick. And they have tremendous -- we're going to work on the people that have the habit already, and we're going to try and get them better. We got to try and get them better."
Trump said the heroin problem comes up frequently at his campaign stops: "It's, like, the first question I get all the time, the heroin problem. Comes right over the southern border. Not going to happen anymore. It's not going to happen anymore.
"But there's always going to be some negotiation. I mean, whether the wall is 50 feet tall or 40 feet tall..."
Trump noted that the U.S. has a $58-billion trade deficit with Mexico. "That's why the wall gets built, by the way. That's why they're going to pay for it. The wall is going to cost -- listen to this...The wall -- the wall gets built. It's going to cost $10 billion to build the wall, OK. It's a lot of money. It's a wall.
"You know, great wall of China is 13,000 miles long. This is 1,000. We need 1,000. Of the 2,000, we need 1,000. It's going to cost $10 billion to build the wall. It's going to be a very terrific wall. But you know what? When you're losing $58 billion -- in other words, Mexico's making essentially $58 billion...$10 billion is not bad."
In her Saturday New York Times column, Gail Collins wrote: "The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. 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."