Josh Marshall writes that in the past week Donald Trump has had to stomach three reversals, something he hates to acknowledge. One is of course the defeat that was handed to him by the Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal over his immigration Executive Orders. After tweeting his defiance suggesting that he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, now there are suggestions that he might issue new orders instead.
Then Trump was forced by China to assure the president of China that the ‘One China’ policy was still in effect, despite his phone call to the leader of Taiwan soon after his election. Sources say that the Chinese government refused to contact Trump after that call, giving him the cold shoulder, and would agree to speak to him only if he reiterated his commitment to the One China policy and that this reassurance would be reported to the media.
Last night the White House released a readout of the President’s call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. That readout had this oddly worded sentence: “The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘one China’ policy.” This came after weeks of swaggering and provocative moves and statements all declaring that the ‘One China Policy’, which is foundational for the PRC, was ‘on the table.’ It is an eminently sane move but also a dramatic back down for President Trump.
The third is that he told the European foreign policy chief that he would “stick to the full implementation of the [Iran nuclear] agreement” despite railing against it during the campaign that it was the worst deal ever.
As is the case with Trump, you cannot rely on what he and his advisors say on any given day and different sources are saying different things. Just another day in Trumpland.