Donald Trump Position Changes




We are not suggesting that position changes are good or bad. We understand they are important to voters, which is why we have included them. We list the current position as Now X (Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con) and the former position as Formerly Y (Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con).
1
Now Con

"The Administration opposes H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act...

Through its successful pro-growth economic agenda, the Administration has ensured that American workers are taking home bigger paychecks... This strong economy has prompted businesses to remain competitive by raising wages. Compensation is rising at near its fastest pace in a decade. Median household income has reached an all-time high. Wages are also rising faster for production and non-supervisory workers than for workers overall.

A $15.00 an hour minimum wage would reverse this economic progress and hurt workers."
Source: Office of Budget and Management, "Executive Office of the President, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 582 – Raise the Wage Act," whitehouse.gov, July 15, 2019

Formerly Pro

"Goofy Elizabeth Warren lied when she says I want to abolish the Federal Minimum Wage. See media—asking for increase!”
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter post, twitter.com, May 11, 2016

Formerly Con

"CHUCK TODD: Minimum wage. Minimum wage. At a debate, you know. You remember what you said. You thought you didn't want to touch it. Now you're open to it. What changed?

DONALD TRUMP: ...I have seen what's going on. And I don't know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I'd rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don't forget, the states have to compete with each other. So you may have a governor --

CHUCK TODD: Right. You want the fed-- but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states--

DONALD TRUMP: No, I'd rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they're out there. They're working. It is a very low number. You know, with what's happened to the economy, with what's happened to the cost. I mean, it's just-- I don't know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide."
Source: NBC News, "Meet the Press - May 8, 2016," nbcnews.com, May 8, 2016

Back to present position
2
Now Con

"As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan. We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new Federal Judges (many more to come), two great new Supreme Court Justices, the Mexico City Policy, and a whole new & positive attitude about the Right to Life. The Radical Left, with late term abortion (and worse), is imploding on this issue. We must stick together and Win for Life in 2020. If we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one, all of our hard fought gains for Life can, and will, rapidly disappear!"
Source: Donald Trump, twitter.com, May 18, 2019

Formerly Not Clearly Pro or Con

"And I am pro-life. And if you look at the question, I was in business. They asked me a question as to pro-life or choice. And I said if you let it run, that I hate the concept of abortion. I hate the concept of abortion. And then since then, I've very much evolved.

And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn't aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances.

And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life."
Source: Washington Post, "Annotated Transcript: The Aug. 6 GOP Debate," www.washingtonpost.com, Aug. 6, 2015

Formerly Pro

Trump: "I'm very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I hear people debating the subject, but, you still, I just believe in choice.""

Tim Russert: "But you would not ban it?""

Trump: "No."
Source: tpmtv, "Trump on Abortion in 1999," www.youtube.com, Apr. 19, 2011

Back to present position
3
Now Not Clearly Pro or Con

Q: "Your position on background checks.”

Trump: "So Congress is looking at it very strongly bipartisan. I put in certain parameters, which you somewhat know about. I’m also very very concerned with the Second Amendment. Moreso than most presidents would be. People don’t realize we have very strong background checks right now. You go in to buy a gun, you have to sign up. There are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years. So I’ll have to see what it is. But Congress is meeting bipartisan. Lot of people want to see something happen. But just remember this big mental problem and we do have a lot of background checks right now.”

Q: "So you’re not will to support universal background checks right now?”

Trump: "I’m not saying anything. I’m saying Congress is going to be reporting back to me with ideas. And they’ll come in from Democrats and Republicans and I’ll look at it very strongly. But just remember, we already have a lot of background checks.”
Source: Zack Ford, "Trump Drops Support for Enhanced Background Checks Two Weeks after Mass Shootings," thinkprogress.org, Aug. 19, 2019

Formerly Pro

"We're going to be very strong on background checks. We're going to be doing very strong background checks. Very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody. And we are going to do plenty of other things."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump and Vice President Pence at Listening Session with Students, Teachers, and Parents," whitehouse.gov, Feb. 22, 2018
[Editor's Note: A week later, then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarified Trump’s remarks: "Not necessarily universal background checks but certainly improving the background check system. He wants to see what that legislation, the final piece of it looks like. 'Universal' means something different to a lot of people. He certainly wants to focus and improve on the background check system." Source: Aaron Blake, "Sarah Huckabee Sanders Clarifies: Trump Said Lots of Stuff This Week He May Not Mean," washingtonpost.com, Mar. 2, 2018]
Back to present position

4
Now Con

"The brilliance of the Electoral College is that you must go to many States to win. With the Popular Vote, you go to just the large States - the Cities would end up running the Country. Smaller States & the entire Midwest would end up losing all power - & we can’t let that happen. I used to like the idea of the Popular Vote, but now realize the Electoral College is far better for the U.S.A."
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 19, 2019

Formerly Pro

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Nov. 6, 2012


Back to present position
5
Now Pro

"[T]here is one approved outside, non-campaign group, America First Action, which is run by allies of the President and is a trusted supporter of President Trump's policies and agendas."

[Editor's Note: The Trump campaign formally endorsed the Super PAC American First Action following reports that other groups were raising money from Trump supporters but not spending all of it on political activities. The Trump campaign encouraged authorities to investigate "alleged scam groups for potential illegal activities."]
Source: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., "Trump Campaign Statement on Dishonest Fundraising Groups," politico.com, May 7, 2019

Formerly Con

"All Presidential candidates should immediately disavow their Super PAC’s. They're not only breaking the spirit of the law but the law itself."
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Oct. 26, 2015


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6
Now Con

"This is truly an extraordinary time for America. Our economy is booming like never before, and our people are thriving...

[Y]ou have to vote for me; you have no choice. You’re not going to vote for [Elizabeth Warren], I can tell you that. You’re not going to vote for the wealth tax. 'Yeah, let's take 100 percent of your wealth away.' No, no. Even if you don't like me... And you're going to be my biggest supporters because you'll be out of business in about 15 minutes, if they get it. So I don't have to spend a lot of time on that."

Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019," whitehouse.gov, Dec. 8, 2019

Formerly PRO

"[Savannah Guthrie:] Do you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy?

[Donald Trump:] I do. I do, including myself. I do."
Source: Today Show, "Trump on Today Town Hall: Abortions Exceptions, Immigration, Raising Taxes," today.com, Apr. 21, 2016


[Editor's Note: On an Nov. 10, 1999 appearance on Good Morning America (GMA), Trump stated: "Well, basically, this would be a one-time tax, 14.25 percent against people with a net worth of over 10 million… It would pay off in its entirety the national debt of $5.7 trillion, and you’d save $200 billion a year. So taxes for the middle class would go way down, the estate and inheritance tax totally wiped out, and the Social Security system would be saved."

In a 2011 GMA interview, Trump said of his earlier proposal, "Well, at that time, it would have paid off the deficit. I mean, you wouldn't have a deficit at that time. Unfortunately, the world has changed. Today, you can't do it. Today, and I'm very strongly against tax increases."

Source: Jonathan Karl, "Donald Trump Once Proposed the Biggest Tax Hike Ever," abcnews.go.com, Aug. 6, 2015]

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7
Now Con

"I certainly stand by my opposition to Gun Control when it comes to taking guns from law-abiding citizens. You mention that the media describes the AR-15 as an 'assault rifle,' which is one example of the many distortions they use to sell their agenda. However, the AR-15 does not fall under this category. Gun-banners are unfortunately preoccupied with the AR-15, magazine capacity, grips, and other aesthetics, precisely because of its popularity.

To the Left every gun is an assault weapon.

Gun control does not reduce crime. It has consistently failed to stop violence. Americans are entitled to protect their families, their property and themselves."

Source: Fredy Riehl, "Donald Trump Talks: Gun Control, Assault Weapons, Gun Free Zones & Self Defense," ammoland.com, July 7, 2015

Formerly PRO

"I generally oppose gun control but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun."

Source: Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 20005

Back to present position
 
8
Now Con

"DC will never be a state. You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen...They want to do that so they pick up two automatic Democrat — you know it’s 100 percent Democrat, basically — so why would the Republicans ever do that? That’ll never happen unless we have some very, very stupid Republicans around that I don’t think you do. You understand that, right?... No, it’s not gonna happen. And how many House seats is it? Like four, three or four? Whatever it is. You’d have three or four more congressmen and two more senators, every single day of every single year. And it would never change. No, the Republicans would never do that.”

Source: Steven Nelson and Ebony Bowden, "Trump Says Washington, DC, Will Never Be a State--because of All the Democrats," nypost.com, May 5, 2020

Formerly NOT CLEARLY PRO OR CON

Trump: "I would like to do whatever is good for the District of Columbia because I love the people."

Chuck Todd: "So you’re okay with either way? If they want statehood, you’re for statehood?"

Trump: "I mean, people are talking about that. I’d look at it. I’d certainly look at it—”

Source: Benjamin Freed, "Donald Trump Supports DC Statehood--Sort Of," washingonian.com, Aug. 17, 2015

Back to present position