Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is not known for his consistency. One of his tried-and-true tactics after saying something incendiary is to either walk it back or deny that he even brought it up.
Examples include (but are not limited to) the “softening” of his stance on immigration, his ban on Muslims, his proposal to punish women who seek abortions and even the one time he (sort of) apologized, which he managed to turn into an opportunity to brag about himself.
He employed the “strategy” in three different instances just in the last 24 hours.
On Wednesday, Trump suggested that he was not completely disavowing the birther movement, which he has championed for years. Last week, he finally admitted that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. (but then falsely claimed that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “started the birther controversy”).
When an Ohio reporter asked what changed his mind about Obama’s birthplace, Trump said that he did it just “to get on with the campaign,” and not because, well, it is a racist conspiracy theory that was debunked more than five years ago when Obama released his birth certificate.
Clinton’s campaign immediately slammed Trump’s remarks, saying that he “hasn’t actually changed his mind” about Obama’s birthplace.
That same evening, Trump’s campaign walked back his earlier proposal to expand the controversial policing tactic of stop and frisk nationwide, claiming that he was only suggesting it should be used to address violent crime in Chicago.
On Thursday, Trump blamed drugs for the Charlotte, North Carolina, protests that arose after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man.
“If you’re not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you’re watching on television at night,” he said in a speech in Pittsburgh.
But hours later, Trump denied that he said that.