Donald Trump has changed policy positions more than once during the campaign
Here are some of the bigger examples
Within hours on Wednesday, Donald Trump took a new position a highly contentious issue and then completely walked it back.
Women, he said, should face “some form of punishment” for getting an abortion if the procedure were outlawed.
Several hours of bipartisan outrage later, Trump did an about-face, releasing a statement in which he said those who perform abortions, and not the women who undergo them, should be punished.
But Trump’s flip-flop on Wednesday was just the most recent one. Here are 10 examples:
1. Nuclear proliferation
“Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation,” Trump told the New York Times last week.
But Trump also said that he would like to see South Korea and Japan obtain nuclear weapons, which would fly in the face of non-proliferation efforts that have been American policy for decades.
“We’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself,” Trump said during a CNN town hall this week. “It’s going to happen anyway.”
Trump added, “I don’t want more nuclear weapons.”
2. The Iraq War
Trump steadfastly insisted throughout his campaign that he – unlike most of his Republican counterparts – opposed the Iraq War before it began.
“I said, ‘Don’t hit Iraq’ because you’re going to totally destabilize the Middle East,” Trump said during his June 16, 2015 speech announcing his candidacy for president. “I’m the one that made all of the right predictions about Iraq.”
And throughout his campaign, Trump expressed some version of that claim at nearly every campaign rally and in every interview he was asked about the issue, arguing he should get “points for vision.”
But his claim was debunked in February when BuzzFeed News dug up a September 2002 interview – weeks before Congress voted to authorize military force in Iraq – in which Trump said he was in favor of invading Iraq.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Trump said after Howard Stern asked him if he favored invading Iraq. “You know, I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
And two days after the war began, Trump said on Fox Business Network that the invasion “looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.”
Trump was asked by Anderson Cooper bout the contradictory statements during a CNN town hall in February.
“I mean, I could have said that,” he said. “Nobody asked me—I wasn’t a politician. It was probably the first time anybody asked me that question.”
3. Afghanistan War
Trump also flipped his position on the war in Afghanistan, labeling the war a “terrible mistake,” in a CNN interview in October.
Trump subsequently claimed that he was talking about Iraq, and not Afghanistan – which the U.S. invaded in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But a review of the interview transcript shows that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo made it clear he was talking about Afghanistan, mentioning the country by name twice in his question to Trump.
“We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place,” Trump said of Afghanistan during the October 6 interview.
And Trump himself then compared Afghanistan to the situation in Iraq.
“It’s a mess. And at this point, you probably have to, because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave,” Trump said.