Criticism of Barack Obama
After years of railing against Barack Obama for being a “disaster,” Mr. Trump appeared to have softened (rather, done a spectacular 540-degree rotation) on his opinion of the current President.
Remember, it was Trump who started the whole “Birther” movement that demanded Barack Obama produce his Birth Certificate, based on speculation that he was not really born in the United States.
But recently, in an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Trump allegedly said of the President, “I didn’t know if I’d like him. I probably thought that maybe I wouldn’t, but I did. I really enjoyed him a lot.”
By the way, the meeting to which he was referring was the first time the two had ever met. This type of encounter surely falls under a textbook definition of the word “awkward.”
Mr. Trump has lambasted Obamacare on various occasions throughout his campaign, vowing repeatedly to, “repeal and replace,” President Obama’s signature healthcare bill.
Yet “The Donald” has appeared to backtrack a bit, stating that in any future healthcare plan of his, he would keep two key provisions of Obamacare: disallowing insurers from denying coverage to individuals with “pre-existing conditions,” and the ability for those twenty-six years old and under to be covered under their parent(s)’ health insurance plan.
“I like those very much,” he said.
Deportation of Illegal Immigrants
Mr. Trump has stated on numerous occasions that he will deport the approximately eleven million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.
Now, he has backtracked on that as well, saying that he will focus mainly on the two-to-three million illegal immigrants with criminal records:
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate."
Regarding the rest of the law-abiding illegal immigrants (the majority):
“After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that they’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that."
Well here we are. Illegal immigrants went from people who were bringing “drugs,” and “crime,” to being “terrific people.”
It would seem that Donald Trump has been practically itching to build a wall with Mexico since he began his campaign:
“I want it to be so beautiful because maybe someday they'll call it “The Trump Wall.” Maybe. So I have to make sure it's beautiful, right? I'll be very proud of that wall. If they call at this The Trump Wall, it has to be beautiful.”
Yes, that wall, which he repeatedly claimed that Mexico will pay for.
When Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, rather poetically stated that he will not, “pay for that fucking wall,” Mr. Trump shot back, stating that, “the wall just got ten feet taller.”
Well, in another stunning reversal, it now seems like some parts of that altitudinous, impregnable wall will in fact be made of fencing:
“For certain areas I would [use fencing], but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I’m very good at this, it’s called construction… there could be some fencing.”
The illegals-in-waiting are most certainly licking their lips in pure delight. Sad!
When asked if he was going to make good on his pledge to stop “Muslims entering the country,” Mr. Trump responded that this policy has since evolved into a policy of “extreme vetting.”
Mr. Trump had once claimed that banning Muslims was the only way to ensure that the United States remains, “a tolerant and open society.”
What this means is that Muslim immigrants will be, according to CNN, tested to see if their beliefs, “match US values on gay rights, gender equality and religious freedoms, among others.”
Trump has in the past insinuated that climate change is a hoax and a secret ploy to undermine the competitiveness of American companies.
Now it seems that he has qualified this statement, slightly. In a meeting with New York Times journalists, when asked if there is a link between climate change and human activity, he replied, “I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much."
He then declined to answer whether he would pull the US out of any climate treaties, something he had promised before.
Disavowing Far-Right White Supremacists
Trump caused some controversy during his campaign when he did not completely disavow the support of David Duke, the former “Imperial Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan.
When asked in 2015 by Bloomberg how he felt about David Duke’s “quasi endorsement” of him, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement. I don’t need anyone’s endorsement.”
Asked if he would repudiate David Duke, Trump replied, “Sure, I would do that, if it made you feel better. I don’t know anything about him.”
But in a later dialogue with CNN in February 2016, Trump appeared to muddy the waters once again. When asked if he would unequivocally condemn David Duke and publicly state that he doesn’t want the support of white supremacists, he replied:
“Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”
Fast-forwarding to after his election victory, he was asked by the New York Times whether he would disavow the “alt-right” and white supremacist groups. Mr. Trump replied, “"I don't want to energize the group, and I disavow the group… It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”
As a bonus, during a 60 Minutes interview, Mr. Trump also clearly and forcefully denounced any hate crimes being carried out in his name. “Don’t do it, that’s terrible, cause I’m going to bring this country together… I am so saddened to hear that. And I say: ‘Stop it’… and I’ll say it right to the camera: ‘Stop it’.”
Mr. Trump has rightly criticized Pakistan in the past for its harboring of Islamist terrorists, especially the most famous Islamist terrorist of all, Osama bin Laden.
He has also said in the past that he wanted to keep US troops in Afghanistan, because it is, “right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons.”
Trump has appeared to reverse completely on these sentiments. In a recent phone call with Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Mr. Trump allegedly said, “Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.”
And when Mr. Sharif invited him to visit his country, Trump is said to have replied that he, “would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.”
Launching an Investigation Into Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal
During the second Presidential Debate, Mr. Trump stated that, if elected, he would appoint a special prosecutor to launch a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
This was complemented by chants of “Lock her up!” at many of his rallies.
Now it seems that he has totally abandoned this idea, saying that he wouldn’t go after his former Presidential rival, instead choosing to let her, “heal.”