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Some of Donald Trump's U-turns within his first 100 days as president

US President Donald Trump has not yet been in the White House for 100 days, but he has already reversed his stance on many issues.

In several interviews this week, the president has forged new positions on topics ranging from Nato to Chinese currency manipulation. The U-turns come as other campaign promises lag, including his vow to build a concrete wall along the length of the southern border and make Mexico pay for it.

"One by one we are keeping our promises - on the border, on energy, on jobs, on regulations," he tweeted on Wednesday evening. "Big changes are happening!"

Here are some of the areas where a president who prides himself on his flexibility has been willing to dispense with past positions:

:: Nato

Mr Trump cemented his shift in posture toward the 28-nation military alliance as he stood alongside its leader at the White House on Wednesday.

As a candidate, he had dismissed Nato as "obsolete", saying the post-Second World War organisation was not focused on combating the growing threat from terrorism and complaining that too many members were not paying their fair share toward defence.

He struck an entirely different tone on Wednesday, one he had been warming up to during frequent telephone conversations with his world counterparts.

"I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete," he said of Nato at a news conference with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg after they met in the Oval Office.

Mr Trump still insists that Nato members meet a 2014 agreement to boost defence spending to 2% of gross domestic product within a decade. He has support on this point from an important ally: Mr Stoltenberg.

Currently, just the US and a handful of other countries are meeting the 2% target.

:: Labelling China a currency manipulator

During his campaign, Mr Trump insisted that one of his first acts as president would be to direct his treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator. It was part of a "contract" with American voters that he pledged to fulfil.

Only days ago, in an interview with the Financial Times, he reiterated that campaign pledge.

"You know when you talk about, when you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations, they are world champions," he said of China. "And our country hasn't had a clue, they haven't had a clue."

By Wednesday something had changed. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he declared point-blank: "They're not currency manipulators."

Mr Trump told the newspaper he had changed his mind because China has not been manipulating its currency for months. He said a US declaration of Chinese manipulation could jeopardise efforts to secure the country's help in containing the threat posed by North Korea.

:: Export-Import Bank

Mr Trump also appears to have grown fond of the US Export-Import Bank, which has been a rallying cry for conservatives who consider it a mechanism of crony capitalism. The conservative political network established by billionaires Charles and David Koch has railed against the agency.

Mr Trump opposed the Ex-Im Bank during his campaign. But he said in the Journal interview that he supports the bank, which helps US exporters by making and guaranteeing loans.

Congress allowed the Ex-Im Bank's charter to expire in 2015, then eventually revived it over the objections of some conservatives. But it is still unable to conduct major business due to vacancies on its board, affecting top exporters like Boeing and General Electric.

Mr Trump told the newspaper he plans to fill two vacancies on the board, adding: "It turns out that, first of all, lots of small companies are really helped, the vendor companies."

:: Russian President Vladimir Putin

As the US relationship with Russia careers from cosy to frosty, Mr Trump is keeping his distance from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I don't know Putin," he said on Wednesday at the joint press conference with Mr Stoltenberg.

Mr Trump has made conflicting statements about his ties to the Russian leader in the past.

At a press conference last July, he said: "I never met Putin, I don't know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I'm a genius."

But during the Republican primary he boasted of their ties.

He said at a November 2015 primary debate: "I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night."

The two appeared on the same programme, but their segments were taped in different countries.

Mr Trump had also previously said the pair met once, a "long time ago".

For Mr Trump, dealing with investigations into possible contacts between his campaign associates and the Russian officials, keeping Mr Putin at arm's length may be the best political play.

:: US military prowess

The man who once condemned the US military as a "disaster" is singing its praises now that he is in charge.

In an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, broadcast on Wednesday morning, Mr Trump talked up US military strength, sounding almost in awe of its prowess.

"It's so incredible. It's brilliant. It's genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five," he said. "I mean look, we have, in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing."

Just a couple of months ago, the president was bemoaning the military's state at rallies across the country.

"We're going to rebuild out military. Our military is in shambles," he said at a rally in Delaware last April. "We're going to make it so big, so strong, so powerful that nobody, nobody, nobody is gonna mess with us, folks."

:: Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen

During his election campaign, Mr Trump was critical of Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, accusing her of keeping borrowing rates low to help rival Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

Mr Trump said at the time that he would probably replace Ms Yellen when her term as chairwoman ends next year. At the first presidential debate in September, he said the Fed was "being more political than Secretary Clinton".

But that was then. In the Wall Street Journal interview, Mr Trump left open the possibility of re-nominating Ms Yellen for a second four-year term.

Asked whether she would be "toast" when her term ends, he said: "No, not toast."

"I like her, I respect her," he said, adding that they had met in the Oval Office since he became president.

AP

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