America has put Trump into the Oval Office. It’s now on us to hold Trump accountable, and keep abreast of what he says and does. We owe it to America and our posterity to do our part as engaged and informed citizens.
This post is an effort to do so. If Trump makes a campaign promise, then reneges on it, that’s something the people of America deserve to know.
Don’t be fooled by the title of this post – I doubt that anyone could compile a truly comprehensive list of Trump’s incessant flips and flops. This is my best effort to do so, and it’s guaranteed to be imperfect. Feel free to comment below if you discover a flip-flop that isn’t on this list, and I’ll add it as soon as possible.
This post is devoted exclusively to Trump flips after Election Day. Compiling all of the flips he’s ever made would truly be impossible.
Flips on the issues
On the First Amendment
Donald Trump, during his campaign, promised to uphold the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, including free speech
“[Donald Trump will u]phold our freedoms, constitutional values and principles that our country was founded on[, p]rotect our Constitutional liberties[, and p]rotect and defend the bill of rights, including the freedom of religion, speech, press and right to bear arms” (Donald Trump, on Donald Trump’s website (emphasis added))
After the election, Trump stated that flag-burning should be criminalized
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Trump seems to not realize that flag-burning is a means of expression that is protected by the First Amendment
“After publicly burning an American flag as a means of political protest, Gregory Lee Johnson was convicted of desecrating a flag in violation of Texas law. This case presents the question whether his conviction is consistent with the First Amendment. We hold that it is not.” (Justice Brennan, in Texas v. Johnson, June 21, 1989)
On the Electoral College
Trump opposed the electoral college, until he won the presidency because of it.
The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
“I was never a fan of the Electoral College until now.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in the New York Times, November 23, 2016)
On the recount effort
When the recount was a “ridiculous” and “a scam”
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in CNN, November 26, 2016)
The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
A single day later, when Trump uncovered “serious voter fraud” in the election
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
The question we should all be asking
“Trump was doing this to make the case that he didn’t actually lose the popular vote, which has become a Democratic rallying cry following Clinton’s loss. It’s clearly a sore spot for Trump.
But the president-elect is also, unwittingly and amazingly, calling into question the results of an election that he won nearly three weeks ago. The logical extension of his argument is that all results should not be trusted. In effect, Trump is lending credence to the very same recount effort that he criticized as superfluous.” (Aaron Blake, on the Washington Press, November 28, 2016)
On the Paris climate agreement
“We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.” (Donald Trump, on Trump’s website, May 26, 2016)
“I have an open mind to it. … I’m going to take a look at it.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in the New York Times, November 22, 2016)
On the Muslim ban
Trump vs. Pence in December 2015
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” (Donald Trump, on Trump’s website, December 7, 2015)
“Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.” (Mike Pence, on Twitter, December 8, 2015)
Trump evolves from a complete ban on Muslims to a ban on ‘regions linked with terrorism.’
We must suspend immigration from regions linked with terrorism until a proven vetting method is in place.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2016
Trump vs. Pence in October 2016
“Well, because [the Muslim ban is] not Donald Trump’s position now.” (Mike Pence, qtd. in CNN, October 6, 2016 (emphasis added))
“The Trump campaign denied Pence’s claim that Trump had changed his stance. When asked to clarify their position, they issued a statement that said Trump planned on ‘temporarily suspending immigration from countries with a history of exporting terrorism until proven vetting methods can be established and, in general, we are tightening screening standards including examining whether candidates for entry harbor any hostility to the United States, its people, or its values — something that is not currently done.'” (USA TODAY, November 10, 2016 (emphasis added))
Election Day shenanigans
Trump’s press release announcing his plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States is removed from his website sometime around Election Day. (ABC, November 10, 2016; CNBC, November 10, 2016; The Independent, November 9, 2016; LA Times, November 10, 2016; NY Daily News, November 10, 2016)
The press release finds its way back onto Trump’s website on November 10, just after Election Day. (ABC, November 10, 2016; LA Times, November 10, 2016; NY Daily News, November 10, 2016; USA TODAY, November 10, 2016)
Post-election hemming and hawing
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” (Trump’s website, December 7, 2015 (emphasis added))
“We never said ‘all’ Muslims.” (Trump spokesman Steven Cheung, qtd. in USA TODAY, November 10, 2016 (emphasis added))
“We don’t believe in religious tests and we are not blanketly judging an entire religion, but in fact we will try to pinpoint the problems and temporarily suspend [people from] those areas from coming into the United States until a better vetting system is in place.” (Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, qtd. in Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2016 (emphasis added))
“Torture works. OK, folks? You know, I have these guys—‘Torture doesn’t work!’—believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question: What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in the Weekly Standard, February 17, 2016)
“[Mattis] said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful…Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I’ll do better.’…I was very impressed by that answer… [Torture is] not going to make the kind of a difference that a lot of people are thinking.’’ (Donald Trump, qtd. in the New York Times, November 22, 2016)
On gay marriage
“If I’m elected, I would be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things. … I don’t like the way they ruled. … I would strongly consider [trying to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage].” (Donald Trump, qtd. in Fox News Sunday, January 31, 2016 (emphasis added))
“It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done. … It’s done. … these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And, I’m fine with that.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in 60 Minutes, November 13, 2016 (emphasis added))
Flips on people
On prosecuting Hillary
“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception.” (Donald Trump during the second presidential debate, qtd. in the New York Times, November 22, 2016; Fortune, October 9, 2016 (emphasis added))
“Mr. Trump, who branded his rival “Crooked Hillary” and said she would go to jail if he were president, said in an interview with reporters and editors at The New York Times that he was no longer interested in pursuing Mrs. Clinton, in part because he wanted to heal the wounds of a divisive campaign.” (The New York Times, November 22, 2016 (emphasis added))
“The incoming Trump administration will not pursue charges against his general election opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of an unauthorized email server while secretary of state and on any of the alleged wrongdoing involving her and her family’s charitable organization the Clinton Foundation.” (Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, qtd. in Breitbart, November 22, 2016 (emphasis added))
“I think president Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history…President Obama when he became president, he didn’t know anything. This guy didn’t know a thing. And honestly, today he knows less. Today, he knows less. He has done a terrible job.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in Politico, July 27, 2016 (emphasis added))
“I have great respect. … I very much look forward to dealing with the President in the future, including counsel. He explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets and some of the really great things that have been achieved.” (Donald Trump, qtd. by the White House, November 10, 2016)
Flips on organizations
On the New York Times
Wow, the @nytimes is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the “Trump phenomena”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2016
“I have great respect for the New York Times. I have tremendous respect. … The New York Times is a world jewel. And I hope we can all get along.” (Donald Trump, qtd. in the New York Times, November 22, 2016)
On Goldman Sachs
Was there another loan that Ted Cruz FORGOT to file. Goldman Sachs owns him, he will do anything they demand. Not much of a reformer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2016
Header photo originally from TrumpInfo.org. Used under the fair use doctrine for nonprofit educational purposes.