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Tracking Donald Trump’s flip-flops in his first 100 days
Lauren Carroll
By Lauren Carroll April 27, 2017

Donald Trump went into the White House with a mandate to break with tradition.

In many ways, he’s embracing it.

As he marks 100 days in office, Trump has adopted more establishment-friendly positions, as well as habits of his predecessor, than his campaign persona let on.

He has changed his position on a dozen key promises and positions, our analysis found.

He’s reversed tough talk on labeling China a "currency manipulator" and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as "obsolete."

He’s spent numerous weekends away from the White House at his private Florida retreat, after years of lambasting President Barack Obama for traveling on taxpayer dollars. And he is outpacing Obama’s time on the green.

And despite his campaign rallying cry to "drain the swamp," Trump has filled his White House staff and Cabinet with billionaires, donors, former politicians and Wall Street financiers.

Even as a candidate, it was tough to pin down Trump’s policy positions.

As president, it appears his changes in position come from learning on the job.

Trump decided that he would no longer call China a currency manipulator, for example, after his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he learned China hadn’t manipulated its currency for months and that he needs to maintain a good relationship with China to address the North Korean threat.

In an interview with the Associated Press April 21, Trump admitted that when he originally said NATO was "obsolete" during the campaign, he made the claim "not knowing much about NATO, now I know a lot about NATO."

"Every decision is much harder than you'd normally make," he told AP, speaking about how the office has affected him. "This is involving death and life and so many things."

See our list of Trump reversals in his first 100 days:

1. On whether NATO is obsolete

Before becoming president: "NATO is obsolete." (April 4, 2016)

Since becoming president: NATO is "no longer obsolete." (April 12, 2017)

2. On White House transparency

Before becoming president: "Why is @BarackObama spending millions to try and hide his records? He is the least transparent President--ever--and he ran on transparency." (June 6, 2012)

Since becoming president: The White House won’t release its visitor logs, reversing an Obama-era policy. (April 2017)

3. On whether he will have time to play golf

Before becoming president: "I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf." (August 8, 2016)

Since becoming president: Has played golf at least 14 times since taking office. (as of April 17, 2017)

4. On presidential travel

Before becoming president: "We pay for Obama's travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf." (Oct. 14, 2014)

Since becoming president: Spent more than half of first 13 weekends as president at his resort in Mar-a-Lago, likely costing millions of taxpayer dollars. (as of April 18, 2017)

5. On attacking Syria after a chemical weapons attack


Since becoming president: "Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons." (April 6, 2017)

6. On attacking Syria without congressional approval

Before becoming president: "The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!" (Aug. 30, 2013)

Since becoming president: Took unilateral action to strike Syria. (April 6, 2017)

7. On whether China is a currency manipulator

Before becoming president: "China is a currency manipulator." (Oct. 22, 2016)

Since becoming president: "They're not currency manipulators." (April 12, 2017)

8. On whether he will keep Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair

Before becoming president: "When her time is up I would most likely replace her." (May 5, 2016)

Since becoming president: When asked by the Wall Street Journal if Yellen was "toast" when her term ends in 2018, Trump said, "No, not toast." (April 12, 2017)

9. On whether the Export-Import Bank is good

Before becoming president: "I don’t like it. I think it’s a lot of excess baggage. I think it’s unnecessary. And when you think about free enterprise, it’s really not free enterprise. I’d be against it." (Aug. 4, 2015)

Since becoming president: "Actually, it’s a very good thing. And it actually makes money; it can make a lot of money." (April 12, 2017)

10. On "insider" influence

Before becoming president: "It’s Time To Drain The Swamp In Washington, D.C." (Oct. 17, 2016)

Since becoming president: Filled his cabinet with billionaire donors, Wall Street insiders and former politicians. (throughout transition and first few weeks)

11. On making cuts to Medicaid

Before becoming president: "Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts." (June 16, 2016)

Since becoming president: Pushed Republican health care plan that would reduce federal spending on Medicaid by $880 billion over 10 years. (March 3, 2017)

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