At the risking of being understated, I'll posit this: Donald Trump is not an entirely consistent politician. Sometimes his positions change over the course of years; sometimes over the course of a day, or even a few hours.
Case in point: Wednesday. With the newly minted sure-thing GOP presidential nominee giving a series of media interviews, some of his answers ran afoul of others he gave the very same day, and sometimes they evolved steadily as the clock ticked toward midnight.
A few examples follow.
1. Self-funding: First, his decision to eschew wealthy donors was a big advantage he touted. Then he and his campaign said he would start soliciting wealthy donors and actively raise money.
New York Times: "He argued that the fact that he would not have to rely on wealthy donors to finance his campaign would ultimately prove appealing to many voters as they realize he is not 'bought and paid for.' ”
Wall Street Journal: "Facing a prospective tab of more than $1 billion to finance a general-election run for the White House, Donald Trump reversed course Wednesday and said he would actively raise money to ensure his campaign has the resources to compete with Hillary Clinton’s fundraising juggernaut. ... The campaign will tap his expansive personal Rolodex and a new base of supporters who aren’t on party rolls, two Trump advisers said."
2. Where he heard about John Kasich dropping out: Did he hear about it during his interview with CNN or during his interview with Time magazine? Apparently, the answer is ... yes (?).
TIME’s Zeke Miller was on the phone conducting an interview with Trump on Wednesday during the exact moment he found out that Kasich, his last remaining rival, would suspend his campaign this afternoon.
“That’s good. That’s nice. That’s interesting. It’s very interesting,” Trump said when he took a separate phone call and learned of Kasich’s decision.
“So Kasich is dropping out,” he then mused to TIME. “Hmm. … That’s big. I didn’t think that was going to happen.”
3. Vice presidential vetting: First he didn't want to name names. And then he named a lot of names.
Politico: "Calling into MSNBC’s 'Morning Joe' following a decisive victory in Indiana that knocked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz out of the race, Trump was mum on naming people he’s considering as his running mate. 'Well, it’s too soon. I just don’t want to do it,' Trump said. 'I think that, you know, a lot of people are talking about certain names, and certainly those are the names we are thinking of.'”
The Washington Post: "Ben Carson will play a role in the process. 'He’s part of the team. Ben is a fantastic guy, I’ve become very friendly with him and have tremendous respect for him. He came in early and said there is a movement, I’d like to be part of it. He’s a good person and a smart person and he’ll be involved in lots of things.' Who else will be involved? 'It’s really too early to say.' ”
CNN (per the Associated Press): "Earlier Wednesday, Trump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, 'I think John [Kasich]'s doing the right thing.' 'I think John will be very helpful with Ohio, even as governor,' he said. Trump stressed that he's had a good relationship with the Ohio governor and said he's willing to consider Kasich as his running mate. 'I would be interested in vetting John,' he said.
Fox News Channel (per Politico):
“Would you consider Ted Cruz in your administration?” [Bill] O’Reilly asked after noting the abrupt change in his rhetoric toward Cruz, from “Lyin’ Ted” to “a smart tough guy.”
“Well he’s certainly a capable guy, so it’s something we can think about,” Trump said. “It’s a little soon to think about it too much. It just happened less than 24 hours ago, but it’s something certainly we would think about.”
O’Reilly then asked about Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who suspended his presidential campaign earlier in the day.
“He would be a good VP because you’re going to need to win Ohio,” he said. “If you don’t win Ohio, you’re not going to win the presidency. Would you consider him for that?”
“Well I could certainly consider him,” Trump said, adding he frequently talked to Kasich during debate intermissions. “I have a good relationship with him.”
Finally, O’Reilly said that Trump needs to win Florida, noting that Marco Rubio has recently said favorable things about him.
“Would you consider Rubio as VP?” he asked.
“I would certainly consider him,” Trump said, quickly adding that they are considering many people. “Marco and I have gotten along very well.”
4. That Rafael Cruz-Lee Harvey Oswald National Enquirer story: This one technically stretches into Tuesday, but still.
Fox News Channel (Tuesday, per BBC): "'His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,' Mr Trump said on Tuesday. 'I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?'"
New York Times (Wednesday): “'Of course I don’t believe that,' said Mr. Trump, who a day earlier had indignantly questioned why reporters were ignoring the article. But he appeared to acknowledge that his goal was to draw attention to the article, an attack he made about 12 hours before Mr. Cruz decided to suspend his campaign. 'I don’t believe it, but I did say let people read it,' Mr. Trump said."