Gary Cohn to Resign

Wednesday, March 7, 2018Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 10.40.17 AM

Good Wednesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Gary D. Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, plans to resign. His decision to leave came after a struggle over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tarrifs on steel and aluminum imports.

  • An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to Mr. Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury.

  • The Justice Department is suing California over immigration laws that oppose Mr. Trump’s agenda, saying state laws make it impossible for federal immigration officials to deport criminals born outside of the United States.
  • The Veterans Affairs secretary, David J. Shulkincontinues to thwart a conservative push to drive him out, saying the White House backs his making changes at the department, including the removal of any staff members who did not support him.

  • The Senate took a key step toward loosening rules imposed after the 2008 financial crisis as lawmakers voted to begin debate on legislation that would roll back restrictions on large parts of the banking industry.
— The First Draft Team
News Analysis

An Important Voice for Free Trade Proponents Goes Silent

By PETER BAKER
President Trump on Tuesday at the White House. He has roiled markets and international relations by declaring that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on foreign aluminum.

President Trump on Tuesday at the White House. He has roiled markets and international relations by declaring that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on foreign aluminum. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Gary D. Cohn is a Democrat, but his resignation as director of the White House National Economic Council on Tuesday actually underlined the fundamental divide between President Trump and his fellow Republicans as the president seeks to raise barriers to foreign trade.
From his perch in the West Wing, Mr. Cohn in effect served as a proxy for the business wing of the Republican Party as it fought what may be a losing battle against new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. His departure deprives free trade proponents of perhaps their strongest voice inside Mr. Trump’s inner circle.
Trade has always been the iron curtain that divided Mr. Trump and establishment Republicans, with the president arguing that other countries have run roughshod over the United States when it came to the exchange of goods and services while most Republican leaders in Washington maintain that in fact lower barriers have helped keep the United States as the world’s leading economic powerhouse.
Read more »
A new film by Peter Schweizer, a right-wing journalist known for his investigations into Hillary Clinton, focuses on technology companies and their role in filtering the news.

New Foils for the Right: Google and Facebook

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM AND JOHN HERRMAN

A new documentary from Peter Schweizer — the man who gave the world “Clinton Cash” — signals a revised strategy for conservatives in the culture wars.

Bryant Neal Vinas, a Muslim from New York convicted of participating in and supporting Qaeda plots in Afghanistan and the United States, was deemed one of the government’s most important cooperators. But he was not given the witness protection that prosecutors sought.

He Turned on Al Qaeda and Aided the U.S. Now He’s on Food Stamps and Needs a Job.

By ADAM GOLDMAN

Bryant Neal Vinas, a convicted terrorist, thought he would be rewarded for telling the F.B.I. everything he knew. Instead, he is living unprotected in New York.

A worker removing the Trump name from the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Panama City on Monday.

A High-Rise Hotel in Panama Says No to Trump Name

By ROBIN LINDSAY AND KIRK SEMPLE

With a hammer and a crowbar, the Trump name was pried off a Panama City hotel amid a contentious dispute between the Trump Organization and the hotel’s majority owner.

A newly developed neighborhood in Doha, the capital of Qatar. A Republican fund-raiser has accused the oil-rich nation of hacking his emails.

A Top Trump Fund-Raiser Says Qatar Hacked His Email

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Elliott Broidy, vice chairman of the Republican Party, exchanged threats with Qatar as a Persian Gulf cyberwar echoed in Washington.

FACT CHECK

Trump’s Exaggerated and Misleading Claims on Trade

By LINDA QIU

The president’s claims about massive trade deficits, tariffs and the World Trade Organization are overstated and contradicted by his own economic report.

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all experienced bursts of hope and then inevitable disappointment in dealing with North Korea.

With U.S. and North Korea, a Repeated History of Hope and Disappointment

By MARK LANDLER

Diplomacy between the United States and North Korea has gone through familiar cycles of long stagnation, followed by brief bursts of hope, and then inevitable disappointment.

Rosa, second from right, an unauthorized immigrant living with her family in New York, used to receive about $190 a month from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Fearing deportation, she has stopped taking the benefits.

Spooked by Trump Proposals, Immigrants Abandon Public Nutrition Services

By EMILY BAUMGAERTNER

Fearful of hurting their citizenship eligibility or being deported, families are said to be dropping out of the programs even before the administration’s immigration policies are in place.

President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, on Monday.

No Chaos in White House, Trump Says, Only Great Energy

By EILEEN SULLIVAN

The president pushed back against reports that his White House is in chaos after the resignations of senior staff members.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, met with the South’s national security director, Chung Eui-yong, in Pyongyang on Monday. The diplomatic dance between North and South Korea has put President Trump in an unaccustomed place: on the sidelines.
NEWS ANALYSIS

On North Korea, Trump Finds Himself in Same Position as His Predecessors

By MARK LANDLER AND DAVID E. SANGER

North Korea’s offer to put its nuclear weapons on the bargaining table opens the door to negotiations of unpredictable length and inevitable complexity.

A steel factory in Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. The country is the third-largest exporter of steel to the United States after Canada and Brazil.

Trump’s Trade Plan Threatens to Derail Korean Security Talks

By ANA SWANSON

The president’s proposed tariffs on steel could antagonize South Korea when the United States most needs its ally.