WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is abruptly reversing himself on key issues. And for all his usual bluster, he’s startlingly candid about the reason: He’s just now really learning about some of them.
“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” the president said after a discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping that included his hopes that China’s pressure could steer North Korea away from its nuclear efforts.
“I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power” over North Korea, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “But it’s not what you would think.”
That’s just one of several recent comments offering insight into what looks like a moderate makeover for an immoderate president. As he approaches 100 days in office Trump appears to be increasingly embracing what he describes as his “flexibility” — acknowledging he may not have thought deeply about some of the issues he shouted about throughout his political campaign.
Over the past 48 hours, the outsider politician who pledged to upend Washington has:
— Abandoned his vow to label China a currency manipulator.
— Rethought his hands-off assessment of the Syrian conflict — and ordered a missile attack.
— Turned his warm approach toward Vladimir Putin decidedly chilly and declared U.S.-Russia relations “may be at an all-time low.”
— Decided NATO isn’t actually obsolete, as he had claimed.
— Realized the U.S. Export-Import Bank is worth keeping around.
“Instinctively, you would say, ‘Isn’t that a ridiculous thing,'” he said of the bank he once panned as “featherbedding” and pledged to eliminate. He now says…
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