President Trump on Wednesday flipped to new positions on four different policy issues, backing off of several campaign promises.
In an interview and a press conference, Trump either shifted or completely reversed positions on matters of foreign and economic policy, including how to handle China and the future of the Federal Reserve chairwoman.
Labeling China a currency manipulator
Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that China is not artificially deflating the value of its currency, a big change after he repeatedly pledged during his campaign to label the country a currency manipulator.
"They’re not currency manipulators," the president said, adding that China hasn’t been manipulating its currency for months, and that he feared derailing U.S.-China talks to crack down on North Korea.
Once again Obama fails to classify China as a currency manipulator. He just helped China steal even more jobs and money from us.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2012
Janet Yellen's future
Trump also told the Journal he’d consider renominating Yellen to chair the Fed's board of governors despite attacking her during his campaign.
“I like her. I respect her,” Trump said, “It’s very early.”
Trump called Yellen “obviously political” in September and accused her of keeping interest rates low to boost the stock market and make Obama look good.
“As soon as [rates] go up, your stock market is going to go way down, most likely,” Trump said. "Or possibly.”
“It turns out that, first of all, lots of small companies are really helped, the vendor companies,” Trump told the Journal. “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.”
Trump’s support is likely to anger conservative opponents of the bank, who say it enables crony capitalism.
Trump said NATO is "no longer obsolete" during a Wednesday press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, backtracking on his past criticism of the alliance.
During the campaign, he frequently called the organization "obsolete," saying did little to crack down on terrorism and that its other members don’t pay their “fair share.”
“I said it was obsolete. It is no longer obsolete," the president said Wednesday.
Trump has gradually become more supportive of NATO after it ramped up efforts to increase U.S. and European intelligence sharing regarding terrorism.
Trump still insisted that NATO allies “meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe.” He said he discussed with Stoltenberg his desire that allies put 2 percent of their gross domestic products into defense by 2024.