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NATO Isn’t the Only Thing President Trump Changed His Mind About This Week

Apr 12, 2017

President Donald Trump reversed course on several policy matters this week, from the status of the Federal Reserve Chairwoman to whether he believes China is a currency manipulator. Here's a look at exactly how the President changed his views on these major issues.

Janet Yellen Can Stay (Maybe)

Trump told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that he is still figuring out whether to retain Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen after her term is up in 2018. "I like her, I respect her," Trump said of Yellen. "It's very early."

He did note his appreciation for low interest rates (in March, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for just the third time since the 2008 financial crisis). But when explicitly asked if she would be "toast," Trump responded, "no, not toast."

During the campaign, Trump criticized Yellen. In an interview with CNBC in September 2016, Trump said Yellen was purposely keeping interest rates low and should be "ashamed" of what she's doing to the country.

China Is No Longer a Currency Manipulator

Trump will no longer label China a currency manipulator because it could impede talks with the country about North Korea. "They're not currency manipulators," Trump told the Journal.

But criticizing China for currency manipulation was a frequent topic for Trump on the campaign trail, where he referred to the country as "abusers" and said he would label them a currency manipulator.

"China just devalued their currency recently more than they have at any time in more than two decades," he told Anderson Cooper in March 2016. "This was like shocking. And the only reason they did it is because we're weak and have no leadership."

While his comments about China got more attention when he voiced them as a candidate, they date back to years before he officially mounted a presidential run. "Once again Obama fails to classify China as a currency manipulator," Trump tweeted in October 2012. "He just helped China steal even more jobs and money from us."

NATO Isn't Obsolete

Trump praised the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Wednesday in joint remarks he made with the organization's secretary, General Jens Stoltenberg.

"The NATO Alliance has been the bulwark of international peace and security," Trump said from the East Room of the White House. "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete. It’s my hope that NATO will take on an increased role in supporting our Iraqi partners in their battle against ISIS."

Trump did lament in his remarks that certain nations in NATO aren't paying their financial dues, rhetoric that is consistent from his time on the trail. But as Trump acknowledged in his remarks, this is a complete 180 from his stance during the campaign.

READ MORE: Donald Trump Torpedoes 'Peace Through Strength'

The Export-Import Bank Might Be Good

Trump reflected on the possible benefits of the export-import bank on Wednesday. “Instinctively, you would say, ‘Isn’t that a ridiculous thing,’ ” Trump told the Wall Street Journal of the bank. “But actually, it’s a very good thing. And it actually makes money, it could make a lot of money.”

He had previously said pretty much the opposite. "It's sort of a featherbedding for politicians and others, and a few companies," he said in the summer of 2015. "And these are companies that can do very well without it. So I don't like it. I think it's a lot of excess baggage."

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