Trying to figure out what happens next? Here's a list of all the things Donald Trump said when running for president

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama.
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Donald Trump is going to be the president of the United States.

The big question on everyone's mind is, "What happens next?"

In a typical election, we could look at past statements from the winning candidate to get a good sense about what he would do.

This is not a typical election. Donald Trump is not a typical president-elect.

The challenge for any interested party — which is just about every person on the planet since the president is the leader of the most powerful country in the world — is figuring out what Trump was just saying to win people's votes, and what he really believes.

Our colleagues at NBC News have put together a massive collection of Trump's quotes over the past year or so.

Here's a sample, based on NBC's work, that shows how confounding he is.

Good luck to any investor, business decision-maker, or world leader trying to make plans based off these statements.


1. The U.S. has a 'humanitarian' obligation to take in some Syrian refugees.

Trump initially said the country should absorb Syrian refugees.

"I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, you have to," Trump told Bill O'Reilly on Fox News on a Tuesday night in September. "But you know, it's living in hell in Syria. There's no question about it. They're living in hell, and something has to be done."

2. The U.S. cannot and should not accept Syrian refugees.

The next day, Trump said the country couldn't welcome refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

"Look, from a humanitarian standpoint, I'd love to help. But we have our own problems," he said on Fox.

During the March debate, Trump defended his changing view.

"First time the question had been put to me, it was very early on. The migration had just started. And I had heard that the number was a very, very small number. By the second day, two or three days later, I heard the number was going to be thousands and thousands of people. You know, when they originally heard about it, they were talking about bringing very, very small numbers in, and I said, begrudgingly, well, I guess maybe that's OK," Trump said. "By the time I went back and studied it, and they were talking about bringing thousands and thousands, I changed my tune. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

3. Close the border.

"I'd close up our borders to people until we figure out what is going on," Trump said on Fox News the morning of the Brussels attacks claimed by ISIS that killed at least 28 and injured more than 270.

4. Don't close the border, just be careful.

"I didn't say shut it down — I said you have to be very careful, you have to be careful on who's coming into our country," he said the same day as the Fox News interview on CBSN, reiterating that people from Syria without papers shouldn't be allowed in.

Current position: Against closing the borders entirely. Against accepting Syrian refugees in the United States.


1. Keep the current deal with Iran, police it.

Trump was one of the few Republicans who didn't immediately promise to rip up the Iranian nuclear deal. The author of "The Art of the Deal" told his supporters that while it was the worst deal ever, they'd probably have to live with it.

"It's very hard to say, "We're ripping it up.' And the problem is by the time I got in there, they will have already received the $150 billion," Trump said, referring to a high estimate of how many of Iran's assets will be unfrozen as part of the deal (the White House says after Iran's debts are paid, it's closer to $56 billion).

"But I will police that deal," he said, touting his handling of business contracts. "I would police that contract so tough that they don't have a chance. As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract."

2. Renegotiate the nuclear deal with Iran.

In September, he went further.

"When I am elected president, I will renegotiate with Iran — right after I enable the immediate release of our American prisoners and ask Congress to impose new sanctions that stop Iran from having the ability to sponsor terrorism around the world," he wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.

Current position: Renegotiate the deal.


1. Repeal Obamacare. Look to Canada for inspiration.

In August, Trump was asked repeatedly if he still supported the single-payer health care he'd touted in the past. He said America should have a private system but repeatedly praised Canada and Scotland's socialized system.

"As far as single-payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you're talking about here," Trump said. "What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. … Get rid of the artificial lines, and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can't take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system."

2. Repeal Obamacare. Cover everybody.

"I am going to take care of everybody," Trump told CBS in September. "I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now."

3. Repeal Obamacare, but 'I like the mandate'

During a CNN town hall on February 18, Trump started to answer a question about how he'd replace the Affordable Care Act with health savings accounts, "which are great," but interrupted himself to talk at length about how he's "a self-funder." When pressed by interviewer Anderson Cooper about what would happen when Obamacare is repealed and the mandate disappeared, therefore allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, Trump said:

"Well, I like the mandate. OK. So here's where I'm a little bit different. I don't want people dying on the streets and I say this all the time."

4. Repeal Obamacare. Replace it with something.

Trump was mocked in the February 25 debate for being vague about how he would replace Obamacare.

"You'll have many different plans. You'll have competition, you'll have so many different plans," he said at the debate, earning derision from Sen. Marco Rubio.

5. Repeal Obamacare. Not everyone will be covered.

His health care plan, finally released online in March, has far more in common with the kind of boilerplate health care proposals the rest of the Republican party touts than his earlier praise for Canada suggested it might.

It would likely cause 21 million people to lose their health insurance and cost about $270 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan budget advocacy group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB).

It offers up unspecified amounts of grants to states to replace Medicaid, but it's not clear how or what those would look like, or how they would cover the millions of people that Trump's plan lets fall through the cracks. CRFB noted that block grants "could generate a wide range of savings" to the federal budget, but without details on them, it is "impossible to score any savings" from his plan.

Current position: Repeal Obamacare. Replace it with something.

Read the whole thing at NBC