Trump Adviser Blames Policy Flip-Flops On Candidate’s Washington-Outsider Status

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Presumed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s chief policy adviser, Sam Clovis, defended the candidate’s propensity to frequently change his policy views Wednesday during the Peterson Foundation 2016 Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C.

In the wake of Trump retracting comments Monday that America’s rich might see higher taxes than he initially proposed, John Harwood of the New York Times questioned what policies voters should put stock in.

According to Clovis, Trump’s inconsistencies in policy rhetoric are largely due to his Washington-outsider status.

“I think often times with Mr. Trump, even though he is a celebrity and he’s been around the media a lot, policy questions come to him and he knows exactly what he wants to say – and perhaps we all do, we are all caught in those circumstances — I know you’ve been in interviews, certainly I’ve been as well, where what we intend to say is not how it comes out,” he said.

Clovis added he understood exactly what the candidate was trying to say from the nature of spending time with him, but he isn’t used to providing answers using in-depth policy jargon.

“The policy questions can get to a level of granularity very quickly. And it may or may not be, the person may not have that particular vocabulary to provide that astute particular answer that you can get from a wonk on the set of your TV show,” he said.

Clovis said Trump’s previous remarks on his tax proposal being more of a jumping-off point for negotiations than an actual plan is not the “sword they are going to fall on,” adding both sides of the aisle are looking for economic growth.

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