Tariff Exemptions

Thursday, March 8, 2018Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 12.56.45 PM

Good Thursday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • More than 100 Republican lawmakers implored President Trump to drop plans for stiff and sweeping steel and aluminum tariffs as the White House prepared to formalize the measures on Thursday afternoon.

  • The special counsel in the Russia inquiry has learned of two conversations in which Mr. Trump spoke to key witnesses about the investigation.

  • Mr. Trump’s lawyer secretly obtained a temporary restraining order last week to prevent a pornographic film star from speaking out about an affair she says she had with Mr. Trump.

  • News Analysis: As aides head for the doors in record numbers, Mr. Trump increasingly relies on his own judgment, in effect operating a presidency of one.

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued California this week, saying it is not doing enough to find and punish unauthorized immigrants.

— The First Draft Team
On Washington

Republicans Had Worries About Trump. His Tariff Plan Reminds Them Why

By CARL HULSE
Most congressional Republicans fundamentally disagree with President Trump's plan to bolster the country's steel and aluminum industries through steep tariffs on imports from leading trading partners.

Most congressional Republicans fundamentally disagree with President Trump’s plan to bolster the country’s steel and aluminum industries through steep tariffs on imports from leading trading partners. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Over the past week, congressional Republicans have gotten a glimpse of the President Trump they hoped to never see.
On gun safety and, more significantly to many of them, trade, the president has loudly broken with longstanding party orthodoxy and reminded Republican leaders on Capitol Hill that they can never be 100 percent certain of what they are going to get with the onetime New York Democrat.
Despite such worries, Mr. Trump’s first-year actions on policy and personnel — particularly judicial nominees — provided substantial reassurance to congressional Republicans. They concluded that Mr. Trump was really one of them when it came to bedrock issues and that the anti-Washington, drain-the-swamp cries from the raucous campaign rallies were only so many applause lines.
In the chaos of the early weeks of his administration, Mr. Trump provoked a sigh of relief from Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, that the president seemed to actually be conservative. “If you look at the steps that have been taken so far, looks good to me,” Mr. McConnell said.
Now here comes Mr. Trump with his sudden proposal to rebuild the country’s steel and aluminum industries through steep tariffs on imports from leading trading partners.
Read more >>
Rob Wright, a strong supporter of President Trump who works in a machine shop, said that the 30 additional dollars in his paycheck was “30 a week that the government isn’t seeing.”

Blue-Collar Workers Are Shrugging at Their Tax Cuts

By MICHAEL TACKETT

For working-class voters in Dayton, Ohio, who helped elect President Trump, the Republican tax cuts are providing modest benefits, one paycheck at a time, but they are hardly life-changing.

Tony Tooke, the chief of the United States Forest Service, stepped down on Wednesday.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Accusations

By EMILY BAUMGAERTNER

Tony Tooke “has determined that it is best for the Forest Service, its future and its employees that he step aside,” Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said in a statement on Wednesday.

A grocery store served as a polling station on Tuesday in Austin, Tex. Even as Democrats in the state’s population centers came out in large numbers, Republicans still cast more ballots over all thanks to their rural strength.

Texas Democrats Surge to Polls in Show of Anti-Trump Sentiment

By MANNY FERNANDEZ AND JONATHAN MARTIN

Even as Democrats in the state’s population centers came out in large numbers, Republicans still cast more ballots over all, thanks to their rural strength.

A lawsuit filed by Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, said she began an “intimate relationship” with Donald J. Trump in the summer of 2006.

Porn Actress Sues, Saying Trump Never Signed ‘Hush Agreement’

By REBECCA R. RUIZ AND MATT STEVENS

A lawsuit by Stormy Daniels, the pornographic-film actress, claims that Mr. Trump purposely did not sign the agreement so he could later disavow any knowledge of it, if necessary.

Gary D. Cohn, who said on Tuesday that would resign as chairman of the National Economic Council, was a key White House gatekeeper for corporate executives.

Economic Adviser’s Departure From White House Worries Wall St.

By DAVID GELLES AND KATE KELLY

Gary Cohn, the White House’s top economic adviser, was a voice for mainstream economic policies and a main gatekeeper for corporate executives.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking about his lawsuit against California during a meeting of law enforcement officers Wednesday in Sacramento.

In Immigration Speech, Sessions Scolds California: ‘We Have a Problem’

By THOMAS FULLER AND VIVIAN YEE

In Sacramento, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would not tolerate what he called the dangerous obstruction of federal immigration laws. Gov. Jerry Brown accused him of “wild accusations, many of which are based on outright lies.”

“We were far from perfect” in seeing problems that were around the corner, said Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member, in his Manhattan apartment.

Thiel’s Money Talks, in Contentious Ways. But What Does He Say?

By DAVID STREITFELD

In a rare interview, Peter Thiel, the billionaire Facebook board member and Trump supporter, shared his current takes on politics, Silicon Valley and more, after “a crazier two years than I would have thought.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last month. “This deregulatory bill puts the entire economy at risk,” she said on Tuesday.

Senate Advances Bill to Loosen Banking Rules, Revealing Democratic Split

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to begin debate on a measure that would roll back rules for small and midsize banks, over the objections of Senator Elizabeth Warren and others.

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

President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel could antagonize South Korea when the United States most needs it.

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.

President Trump last year addressing the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. He has filled jobs with former Heritage employees, as well as former lobbyists and campaign workers.

How the Spoils Were Doled Out to Trump Campaign Workers and Allies

By ERIC LIPTON AND DANIELLE IVORY

Presidents have 4,000 federal jobs to fill. Mr. Trump has turned to campaign staff, lobbyists and conservatives, some lacking relevant experience, a ProPublica tally shows.

Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, delivered a series of bizarre televised interviews on Monday.

Nunberg Says He’ll Cooperate With Mueller. But What Does He Know?

By KATIE ROGERS

Sam Nunberg, who was one of the first people to take the idea of a Trump campaign seriously, would be in a position to tell the special counsel, Robert Mueller, about the campaign’s origins.

“This time, the gun rights crowd messed with the wrong community, the wrong kids and the wrong dad,” said Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month.

With Gun Control Nearing a Dead End, G.O.P. Turns to ‘School Safety’

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG AND ERICA L. GREEN

The House plans to vote next week on legislation to beef up security at the nation’s schools, but Democrats accused Republicans of diverting attention from guns.

Representative Beto O’Rourke greeting supporters last month in Lufkin, Tex.

Et Tu, Rafael? Cruz Asks Democratic Rival, ‘What’s in a Nickname?’

By MICHAEL TACKETT

The Texas Senate campaign began with a bang on Wednesday as Senator Ted Cruz mocked Representative Beto O’Rourke for using a childhood nickname.