Presidential candidate Donald Trump didn’t take firm, coherent positions on lots of issues. One of those issues was the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal agency which, as its name suggests, helps finance U.S. exports.
Back in 2015, he thought the Ex-Im wasn’t really necessary. Why? Because some conservatives, including his spirit animal Steve Bannon, had made shutting it down a cause célèbre, so he decided it was a bad thing.
Then, in May of last year, he started to think about it himself and promised to “take a position in the very near future.” Well, the very near future is apparently now, nearly nine months later, and the last people who had his ear were Democrats and a CEO whose company is a great client of the Ex-Im.
Mr. Manchin said Mr. Trump told the lawmakers that he had “changed my mind completely on that” after seeing how the bank helps boost exports. Mr. Manchin added: “Before he thought it was different, so he’s changed…and he said, ‘You can tell everybody I said that….’ ”
Dennis Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing Co., had explained the mission of the bank more recently, changing Mr. Trump’s mind, according to a person familiar with Thursday’s discussion.
The same person said Mr. Trump then asked Ms. Heitkamp whom she wanted to see on the bank’s board and told Reince Priebus, his chief of staff, to work with her on the selection. “This sounds like a good thing,” he said, according to this person.