News & Politics

All the President’s Flip-Flops: Here Are 5 of Trump’s Biggest and Most Embarrassing Political Reversals

He's not known for his consistency.

Photo Credit: Senior Airman Delano Scott

In her soon-to-be-released book, “Full Disclosure,” adult film star Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, recalls a time when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were on much friendlier terms. Daniels writes that back in 2007—when he was allegedly having an extramarital affair with her—the two of them were at the Beverly Hills Hotel when he received a call from Clinton. And after he got off the phone, Trump described Clinton in glowing terms, telling Daniels, “I love her. She is so smart.”

Obviously, Trump’s relationship with Clinton took a turn for the worse during the 2016 presidential election, when he described her as a “nasty woman” and repeatedly called her “Crooked Hillary.” But given President Trump’s history, it isn’t surprising that his view of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state would change so dramatically. Trump is a major flip-flopper, changing his “opinions” frequently depending on what he thinks is expedient at a given moment. And while many Republicans are fierce ideologues of the far right, Trump’s only ideology is advancing his own brand.

Here are five of President Trump’s most dramatic flip-flops.

1. Trump Once Asserted That the Economy ‘Does Better Under the Democrats’

In 2018, Trump is claiming that the U.S. is experiencing an economic boom thanks to his leadership and the Republican Party. Democrats, he insists, will destroy the economy if they retake Congress in the November midterms. But back in 2004, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “I’ve been around for a long time, and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.”

2. Trump Was Bullish on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Run

Stormy Daniels’ assertion that Trump had a friendly phone conservation with Clinton in 2007 and described her in very favorable terms after he got off the phone isn’t all that surprising when one listens to Trump’s 2007 interview with Blitzer on CNN. In 2007—the year before Clinton conceded to Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary and Obama went on to defeat the late Sen. John McCain in the general election—many pundits were assuming that Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. And Trump, reflecting on the possibility of a Clinton presidency come 2009, told Blitzer, “Hillary’s always surrounded herself with very good people. I think Hillary would do a good job” as president.

3. Trump Once Supported Abortion Rights

In 2018, Trump is adored by the Christian Right and the fundamentalist anti-abortion movement, which has applauded him for vowing to see Roe v. Wade overturned and nominating severe social conservatives like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. But back in 1999—when Bill Clinton was president and Trump was on friendlier terms with the Clintons—he expressed views similar to those of his current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who has long said that he personally hates abortion but is nonetheless uncomfortable with the government interfering with reproductive rights.

Interviewed by NBC’s Tim Russert in 1999, Trump asserted, “I am very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But….I just believe in choice.” And ten years earlier, in 1989, Trump co-sponsored a $500-per-plate dinner for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) at New York City’s Plaza Hotel (which he owned at the time).

4. Trump Went From Praising James Comey to Hating Him

In a November 13, 2016 interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes,” Trump praised James Comey by saying, “I respect him a lot. I respect the FBI a lot.” But in May 2017, Trump fired Comey. And in an interview with Hill.TV this month, the president expressed nothing but contempt for the former FBI director, saying, “If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here.”

5. Trump Opposed Medicaid Cuts Before He Supported Them

During his 2016 campaign, Trump insisted that unlike the other Republican candidates, he opposed any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. But Trump has since flip-flopped, supporting Republican efforts to defund Medicaid by billions of dollars.

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.