I am ever more confused on how to take Donald Trump. You may have read the now famous quote of Salena Zito, “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” I guess, like the press, I have erred in taking him literally.
Not long after the election, and after his meeting with President Obama, he allowed that there were parts of so-called Obamacare that were worth keeping, a far cry from his “repeal and replace” rhetoric.
In a meeting with The New York Times staff, several interesting points were made.
First, he really didn’t think it was in the best interest of the country to pursue Hillary Clinton’s email mess, which is wise, but quite a bit different than setting a special prosecutor on her.
He also allowed that he was rethinking his torture comments after Gen. James Mattis told him, “Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I’ll do better.”
Of great interest to me was his backpedaling his position on climate change where he is now against dumping the Paris Agreement in its entirety, instead of insisting that it is all a Chinese hoax.
I am heartened by these changes in position, but what am I or our allies to think? A president cannot blurt out whatever is on his/her mind and expect no one to react to it. I would much prefer to be able to take him both literally and seriously.