Apr 16, 2017

9 things Trump flip-flopped on this week

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Last week, President Trump discussed one of his key traits: "I like to think of myself as a very flexible person." This week, his flexibility was on full display on everything from China, to NATO to his legislative priorities:

1. China's currency

Nov. 9, 2015 (WSJ Op-ed)

"On Day One of a Trump administration, the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China a currency manipulator."

Wednesday (WSJ interview)

"They're not currency manipulators."

2. Export/Import Bank

Aug. 26, 2015 (Bloomberg interview)

"I don't like it because I don't think it's necessary."

Wednesday (WSJ interview)

"It's a very good thing and actually it makes money."

3. NATO

January 15, 2017 (Bild interview)

"It's obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago. Secondly, countries aren't paying what they should."

Wednesday (Press conference)

"I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete."

4. Janet Yellen

May 5, 2016 (CNBC interview)

"When her time is up I would most likely replace because of the fact it would be appropriate."

Wednesday (WSJ interview)

Trump has "respect" for her and she's "not toast" when her term is up. He added, "I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you."

5. National debt

April 2, 2016 (Washington Post interview)

Trump said he would eliminate the National Debt "over a period of eight years."

Wednesday (CNBC interview)

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney: "I think it's fairly safe to assume that was hyperbole."

6. Health care

March 24, 2017 (To reporters in Oval Office)

Trump says he's "moving on" from health care: "We will probably be going right now for tax reform."

Tuesday (Fox Business interview)

"We have to do health care first."

7. Tax reform

February 23, 2017 (CNBC interview)

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: "We want to get this done by the August recess."

Wednesday (Fox Business interview)

"By putting a deadline, they say, 'Oh, Trump didn't make it…. I don't wanna put deadlines."

8. James Comey

July 5 (Twitter)

"FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem"

January 24

Trump asks Comey to stay on as FBI director.

Wednesday (Fox Business interview)

He said it was too late to fire him for not supporting his wiretapping claims. "We'll see what happens. You know, it's going to be interesting."

9. Russia

2016 campaign

Trump repeatedly defended Putin and praised his strong leadership in contrast to Obama's "weak" leadership.

Wednesday (New York Times)

"I think it's a very sad day for Russia because they're aligned, and in this case, all information points to Syria that they did this."

Honorable mentions:

Hiring freeze: In January, Trump signed an executive order implementing the hiring freeze, and on Wednesday, he lifted it.

Syria: In 2013, Trump repeatedly tweeted against invading Syria and for Obama getting Congressional approval before bombing. Last week, Trump signed off on the strikes to Syrian airfields without Congressional approval. This isn't a total flip-flop. Trump has been notably pro-bomb — promising to "bomb the hell out of ISIS" — and in a mostly-overlooked interview with Circa last year, said that the use of chemical weapons would be his "red line."

Go deeper

Trump administration backs Oracle in Google fight

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via The Washington Post.

The Trump administration is siding with Oracle in the database giant's dispute with Google before the Supreme Court — a move that comes as Oracle's founder hosts a high-dollar fundraiser for the president.

Why it matters: Billions of dollars — and, Google argues, the future of software innovation — are at stake as a long-running copyright dispute between the two giant companies heads to the Supreme Court next month.

Established VCs turn to "super angels" to grow their network

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thanks to companies like AngelList and Carta that make it easier than ever to set up small VC funds, a new generation of so-called “super angels” is cropping up — and established venture funds are backing them.

Why it matters: Just like the boom in scout programs a number of years ago, it’s all about the deal flow.

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.