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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a strategic and policy discussion with CEOs in the State Department Library in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) Tuesday, April 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS) Photo: Olivier Douliery, TNS

Photo: Olivier Douliery, TNS

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a strategic and policy discussion with CEOs in the State Department Library in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) Tuesday, April 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a strategic and policy...

The ever-spinning positions of President Trump have been on full display this week. He’s breezily changing stances on a string of issues, bringing up the unsettling notion that he has no inner core or guiding principles.

The reversals span from China trade to a federal hiring ban, a wide enough range to underscore the Trump trend. What, if anything, he believes is unclear.

The friendly explanation is that the Oval Office brings special knowledge and extra pressure that can lead to abridged goals. If you only knew what the president knew, you’d understand, the argument goes. For critics, there may be a measure of hope that he’ll bend on other harsh policies.

Trump won office with sweeping declarations and clear pledges he promised never to change. He dug deep, running even outside his own Republican ranks with angry populist fist shakes.

Now comes the list of flip flops, less than three months on the job. He opposed past military action in Syria, saying it would be expensive and politically risky. Last weekend, in the midst of sit-down session with China’s president, he ordered an attack on an Syrian airfield after a poison gas attack on civilians.

The list is lengthening this week. In three 180-degree course corrections, he’s dropping his repeated promise to formally accuse China of holding down the value of its currency. The money manipulation claim was campaign trail staple to whip up crowds worried about blue collar job losses to Chinese imports. Trump, it turns out, is willing to dump the trade accusation if Beijing tamps North Korea’s warlike ways.

In interviews with the financial media, he tacked on other surprises. He’s no longer opposing the Import-Export Bank, used by major firms to finance overseas sales, and will consider reappointing Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen, whom he denounced for keeping interest rates low to favor Democrats.

On day one, Trump famously announced a federal job freeze, a stance that followed his “drain the swamp” mantra. This week, his team wants to drop that flat ban with selective hiring.

On military affairs, Trump belittled NATO as ineffective, outdated and too reliant on U.S. payments. Now he has backed the alliance as a “bulwark of international peace” at a White House meeting with its top leader.

Adding to the foreign affairs haze is the thinking on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Trump lionized the leader during the campaign, but relations with Moscow have touched a low in the wake of the U.S. attack in Syria and multiple investigations of election meddling. “Right now we’re not getting along with Russia at all,” he said.

For Trump detractors, it’s tempting to root for more about-faces. But plenty of objectionable White House policies remain, such as a hard-line immigration crackdown, weaker environmental laws and a Department of Justice unconvinced that police problems remain. It’s a guessing game about which, if any, of his expressed principles will endure.

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