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Donald Trump: 24 things the next president believes

  • 9 November 2016
  • From the section Magazine
Donald Trump on 19 November, 2015 in Newton, Iowa Image copyright Getty Images

Republican Donald Trump has won victory in the presidential race, but no one's quite sure what President Trump will actually do in office.

The New York businessman-turned-politician said many controversial things and flip-flopped on a number of policy positions during the campaign.

Here, we look back at 24 of his professed beliefs.

1. The US should use waterboarding

This and other methods of "strong interrogation" should be deployed in its fight against the Islamic State group. These methods, Mr Trump said, are "peanuts" compared to the tactics used by the militants, such as beheadings. "I like it a lot. I don't think it's tough enough," he said in June of the banned practice.

2. Mexico should pay for the "great, great wall"

Mr Trump has said he wants to start building the much-touted wall on the shared border from the first day of his presidency, and that Mexico will pay for it. In some of his earliest campaign comments, he suggested that Mexicans coming to the US were criminals and "rapists". BBC analysis estimates the border wall could cost between $2.2bn and $13bn.

3. Muslims should not be admitted to the US

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, Mr Trump wrote that he was "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

He's since gone back on the announcement, instead saying that that he would temporarily suspend "immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism".

4. Arab-Americans cheered the attacks on 9/11

Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that on 11 September 2001, there were thousands of Arab-Americans celebrating in New Jersey after two planes flew into the Twin Towers. He says such public demonstrations "tell you something" about Muslims living in the US. However, there are no media reports to back up the claim.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Demonstrators protest surveillance at New York mosques in 2013

5. Obamacare is a "disaster".

Mr Trump says he wants Congress to fully repeal the president's Affordable Care Act, which aims at extending the number of Americans with health insurance, but he believes that "everybody's got to be covered". A spokesman for Mr Trump said he would propose "a health plan that will return authority to the states and operate under free market principles". The increase in premiums revealed just before the election bolstered the Trump attacks.

6. Climate change is just "weather"

While Mr Trump believes that maintaining "clean air" and "clean water" is important, he has dismissed climate change science as a "hoax" and believes environmental restrictions on businesses make them less competitive in the global marketplace. "I do not believe that we should imperil the companies within our country," he told CNN on the issue. "It costs so much and nobody knows exactly if it's going to work."

7. The world would be better off if Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power

Mr Trump told CNN that he believes the situation in both Libya and Iraq is "far worse" than it ever was under the leaders of the two countries. While he concedes Saddam was a "horrible guy", he says he did a better job combating terrorists.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A US Border Patrol agent looks into Mexico from the US-Mexico border at the Rio Grande on near Roma, Texas.

8. Illegal migrants should be deported

Trump once said that he wanted to deport all of the approximately 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the US, despite criticism that this idea is both xenophobic, next to impossible and prohibitively expensive - the BBC estimates a cost of $114bn. His official policy now says only those with criminal records will be deported immediately, although immigration controls will still be massively beefed up. Any undocumented migrants would also face the risk of deportation.

9. Syrian refugees could be a "Trojan horse"

He says that the Paris attacks prove that even a handful of terrorists posing as migrants could do catastrophic damage, and so he will oppose resettling any Syrians in the US, and deport those who have already been resettled. It's unclear if he still believes that deportations are necessary, though he has still vowed to suspend the intake of Syrian refugees.

10. Vladimir Putin is a "leader"

He has noted the Russian president's "great control over his country" and criticised the state of the relations between it and the US. He told CNN: "I would probably get along with him very well. And I don't think you'd be having the kind of problems that you're having right now". More recently he has said that Mr Putin doesn't "respect" the US, although that was no reason to get tough on him.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A Trump supporter outside NBC studios

11. Taxes should be reduced for everyone

Trump wants to condense the current seven tax brackets to just three, with no income tax for "low-income Americans". He would lower the business tax to 15%, from 35%. He would also allow multinational companies keeping profits overseas to repatriate their cash at a 10% tax rate.

12. Hedge fund managers are "getting away with murder"

Mr Trump found common ground with Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren when he said that hedge fund managers and the ultra-wealthy did not pay enough taxes. However, after the campaign released specifics of his plan, analysts argued that hedge fund managers would actually get a tax cut along with the middle class.

13. China should be taken to task on a number of trade-related issues

He has said he will make China stop undervaluing its currency, and force it to step up its environmental and labour standards. He is also critical of the county's lax attitude towards American intellectual property and hacking.

14. The Black Lives Matter movement is "trouble"

Mr Trump mocked former Democratic candidates like Martin O'Malley for apologising to members of the protest movement against police brutality and cast himself as a pro-law enforcement candidate. "I think they're looking for trouble," he once said of the activist group. He also tweeted a controversial and widely debunked graphic purporting to show that African Americans kill white and black people at far higher rates than white people or police officers.

15. He's worth $10bn

Based on Mr Trump's 92-page personal financial disclosure form, Bloomberg calculated last year that the real estate mogul was worth about $2.9bn, while Forbes recently put Trump's net worth at $3.7bn. Mr Trump has however insisted that he is worth "in excess" of $10bn.

16. Veteran healthcare in the US needs a major overhaul

Mr Trump wants to clear out the executive level in the Department of Veterans Affairs, saying that waiting times for doctor visits have only increased after previous interventions failed. Thousands of veterans have died while waiting for care, he says. He will invest in the treatment of "invisible wounds" like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. He would also increase the number of doctors who specialise in women's health to help care for the increasing number of female veterans.

17. Lobbyists should be more restricted

Mr Trump proposes that there be a five-year ban that prevents government officials and members of congress from leaving and then immediately becoming lobbyists. He also calls for a lifetime ban on senior administration officials from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Trump addresses supporters in Norfolk, Virginia

18. He is a "really nice guy"

In Trump's most recent book, Crippled America, he writes that "I'm a really nice guy, believe me, I pride myself on being a nice guy but I'm also passionate and determined to make our country great again". The news site Gawker points out that he calls himself a "nice guy" throughout the book, and Mr Trump repeated that self-assessment in his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live and in an interview with the Washington Post.

19. He could not have groped an unattractive woman

A video from 2005 showed Mr Trump making obscene comments about women and triggered numerous claims of alleged sexual harassment. At one rally, he suggested that one of the accusers - a "horrible woman" - was not attractive enough for him to have groped: "I don't think so! I don't think so!"

20. Tokyo and Seoul should build up nuclear arsenals

He has said Japan and South Korea should not rely on the US so much and would benefit from having their own weapons. Nuclear war between Japan and North Korea may be "terrible" but it would be "pretty quick".

21. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) is a "rip-off"

Why? Because the US pays more than anyone else. But he later said he was "all" in favour of the alliance.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Trump signs copies of his latest book, Crippled America

22. Doctors should be punished for administering abortions

Or should they? In an interview with MSNBC, Mr Trump said that if abortion were to become illegal, women should be punished for obtaining them. He then retracted, saying the doctor would be responsible and he or she should be punished, instead.

23. The Republican National Committee's rules were "stacked against him"

He called the delegate system "crooked" and "unfair". He repeatedly clashed with the RNC over its nomination process and how it treated his candidacy during the primaries. He called rules that allowed Senator Ted Cruz to gain more delegates than him in some states "rigged", as he did later when talking about the electoral process when polls were showing Hillary Clinton ahead of him.

24. The federal minimum wage should be raised

Workers should be paid more than the current level of $7.25/hour, he has said. though this is another issue he has flip-flopped on repeatedly.

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