President-Elect Donald Trump took 141 distinct stances on 23 major issues during his bid for the White House.
His campaign's constantly-evolving views — often championed as a way for Trump to use unpredictability to cut better deals for the nation — make it difficult glean a political agenda, or even a set of clear, core policy views ahead of his presidency.
It's unclear, for example, if Trump plans to round up and deport the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants or give them a pathway to citizenship. After announcing he'd ban Muslims from entering the country ten months ago, it's unclear if that policy still stands -- his campaign some times says he's expanded the policy and other times that he's limited it.
After more than a year and a half of stadium rallies, around-the-clock interviews, sweeping primary wins, and one stunning general election victory, the Republican president-elect has the most contradictory and confusing platform in recent history. This is a catalog of his views over a 511-day span, from June 16, 2015 to November 8, 2016.
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1. Build a wall, deport all undocumented immigrants.
Trump's campaign began with a promise to build a wall across the United States' southern border and deport the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants.
2. Deport all undocumented immigrants but bring the "good" ones back legally.
In a CNN interview in July 2015, Trump said, "I want to move them out, and we're going to move them back in and let them be legal, but they have to be in here legally."
3. Build the wall, deport criminals, triple the number of ICE officers, end birthright citizenship.
In August 2015, Trump released a detailed, sprawling immigration plan that included a wide variety of ideas: Build the wall, make Mexico pay for it, deport criminal aliens, enhance penalties for overstaying visas, triple the number of ICE officers, pause immigration to try and employ unemployed Americans, cut worker visas and more. Trump's plan didn't detail how he'd enact most of his proposals, or how he'd pay for them. He's walked back or modified much of it since.
4. Use a deportation force to implement policy.
In November 2015, Trump said he'd use a mass deportation force in order to remove the 11 million people.
"You're going to have a deportation force. And your going to do it humanely," Trump said in November on MSNBC.
5. Trump might be flexible on actually deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants.
BuzzFeed reported in February 2016 that in off-the-record talks with The New York Times, Trump admitted this was just bluster and a starting point for negotiations, saying he might not deport the undocumented immigrants as he's promised. Trump has refused calls to release the transcript, despite furious requests from his rival candidates.
6. Deport undocumented immigrants, but don't call it "mass deportations."
"President Obama has mass deported vast numbers of people — the most ever, and it's never reported. I think people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody," Trump told Bloomberg News in June 2016 when pressed about his immigration policies.
When asked more about how he'd characterize the deportations at the center of his immigration policy, Trump said he "would not call it mass deportations."
7. A deportation force is "TBD."
Trump's newly hired campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, dodged questions on the deportation force in August 2016 before saying that Trump's much-talked about deportation force from the primary was "to be determined."
8. "I'm gonna do the same" as past presidents.
Trump championed President Obama's immigration strategy — deporting criminals first — in an interview with Fox News on Monday, August 22 when asked about how he'd deport 11 million illegal immigrants. He declined to answer questions of how he'd handle those who aren't criminals.
9. I'm open to "softening."
The next day, Trump told attendees of a town hall hosted by Fox News in Texas that he was open to "softening" laws to help immigrants already living in the United States peacefully. However, he followed that by saying that those who had overstayed visas — one of the key ways undocumented immigrants get into the U.S. — had to leave. "You have to get them out. You have to get them out," Trump said.
It's unclear what or how he's softening his policy.
10. "There's no amnesty" but "we work with them."
In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that aired Wednesday, August 24, Trump outlined an immigration plan that sounded an awful lot like the kind of path to legalization championed by Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio — the very people Trump excoriated for weak immigration plans while he campaigned on a promise of mass deportations.
"No citizenship. Let me go a step further — they'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them," Trump said.
11. Deport "criminal illegal immigrants" within one hour of being sworn in.
Trump worked to sound strong on illegal immigration at an event in Iowa on Saturday, August 27 — even if he was simply presenting a warp-speed version of current policy.
"On day one, I am going to begin swiftly removing criminal illegal immigrants from this country," he said. "We are going to get rid of the criminals, and it will happen within one hour" of being sworn in.
Trump did not discuss how he would approach the millions of other undocumented immigrants, nor did he explain how he could accomplish implementing current policy so quickly.
12. What's the plan again?
On Sunday, August 28, three Trump surrogates took to the airwaves to insist that Trump's immigration plan hadn't changed. But their answers on what that plan actually was — and is — only added to the confusion.
Running mate Gov. Mike Pence said there would be no path to citizenship, while Gov. Chris Christie said there would be no legalization at all. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway dodged answering the question completely, simply saying he'd be humane.
"The question is what to do," she said.
13. A deportation force is not currently being discussed.
"He is not talking about a deportation force," Conway later said.
14. The plan — whatever the plan is — has never changed.
"Absolutely consistent," said Pence.
"Completely consistent," said Christie.
"Pretty consistent," said Conway.
15. Deport all undocumented immigrants in due time, using a deportation force.
Two more surrogates muddled Trump's immigration policy just days later.
Son Donald Trump, Jr. told CNN on August 30 that his father hoped to deport everyone.
"That's been the same, correct. But again, you have to start with baby steps. You have to let ICE do their job, you have to eliminate sanctuary cities, you have to get rid of the criminals certainly first and foremost, you have to secure the border. These are common sense things, Anderson," he said.
Meanwhile, Trump surrogate Jack Kingston told MSNBC that a deportation force "is part of it. We are going to learn more Wednesday."
16. Don't worry, hardliners. There's no amnesty and Mexico will pay!
In a speech in Phoenix on September 1 Trump eased base concerns and re-upped his harsh immigration rhetoric by insisting that he would create a deportation task force, and there would be no "amnesty."
Mere hours after meeting with the Mexican president who later said he'd told Trump that Mexico wouldn't pay for the wall, Trump reiterated that he still planned to make Mexico pay for the wall.
17. But "there's really quite a bit of softening."
Later the day, Trump was pressed by conservative commentator Laura Ingraham about what had happened to "the softening" of his policy. He said "there's softening," but didn't indicate what, exactly, was softening.
"Look, we do it in a very humane way, and we're going to see with the people that are in the country. Obviously I want to get the gang members out, the drug peddlers out, I want to get the drug dealers out. We've got a lot of people in this country that you can't have, and those people we'll get out," Trump said. "And then we're going to make a decision at a later date once everything is stabilized ... I think you're going to see there's really quite a bit of softening."
18. I won't rule out a path to citizenship.
Asked September 6 if he'd rule out a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Trump declined.
"I'm not ruling out anything," Trump said. "We're going to make that decision into the future. OK?"
19. We'll pay for the wall, Mexico will pay us back, OK?
"The End Illegal Immigration act fully funds the construction of a wall on our southern border," Trump said on October 22nd, outlining the plans for his first 100 days in office. "With the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such a wall, OK?"
Current position: Trump says he will deport millions, but he has not ruled out creating a pathway to citizenship. He'll build a wall, pay for said wall, but later he'll get reimbursed by Mexico.