What Campaign Promises? Trump Backpedals on Yet More Major Pledges
President Donald Trump reversed his position on four major campaign pledges and other public remarks within the space of a few hours on Wednesday.
Between an interview and a press conference, Trump flipped or pivoted on several economic and national security policies, including some of his trademark promises, such as his approach to China.
The president told the Wall Street Journal that China was not artificially deflating the value of the American dollar—a big shift after pledging during his campaign to label the country a currency manipulator on day one of his administration. He previously criticized former President Barack Obama for not doing so himself.
“They’re not currency manipulators,” Trump said of China on Wednesday.
Despite the shift, he tweeted later that day that “One by one we are keeping our promises—on the border, on energy, on jobs, on regulations. Big changes are happening!”
He also told the WSJ that he’d consider renominating Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve, despite criticizing her during his campaign and accusing her of being “obviously political.”
“I like her. I respect her,” Trump said Wednesday. “It’s very early.”
He also similarly expressed support for the Export-Import Bank, which provides loans and insurance to facilitate the exporting of American goods, an agency which Trump also opposed during the election.
“It turns out that, first of all, lots of small companies are really helped, the vendor companies,” Trump told the WSJ. “Instinctively, you would say, ‘Isn’t that a ridiculous thing,’ but actually, it’s a very good thing. And it actually makes money, it could make a lot of money.”
Lastly, Trump said during a press conference Wednesday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was “no longer obsolete,” despite describing it as such during his campaign for what he saw as its failure to address terrorism.
“I said it was obsolete. It is no longer obsolete,” the president said at the press conference, which was held with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Trump then referred to the alliance as a “bulwark of international peace and security.”
At the press conference, Trump also said that he “didn’t know” Russian President Vladimir Putin, contradicting statements he made during his campaign, when he said at a November 2015 debate that he had gotten to know Putin “very well.”
On Wednesday, the president said, “I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius.”