Afternoon Briefing: The White House Has Lost Control of Trump
OK, for those of you who don’t understand the finer intricacies of tariffs, like myself. here’s essentially what you should know: Donald Trump has wanted a trade war since the campaign, but the people around him — understanding that such a trade war could be calamitious to the economy — have always managed to put the brakes on Trump’s instincts. But Hope Hicks is out. Rob Porter — who helped control the flow of information to Trump — is gone, and John Kelly has clearly lost control over his boss. Trump is in a volatile mood, there is no one capable of managing him right now, so the dumbfuck went against his own economic team (specifically Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin) and announced that he’s going to impose a tariff on steel of 25 percent and aluminium of 10 percent.
What Does This Mean? The thing is, China has been supplying America with a lot of its steel. Trump wants the United States to be a bigger steel producing nation. He believes that by imposing this tariff, more steel will be purchased from home. It’s a nice theory, and steelworkers actually support it. But all of those other industries — like the automative industry — who rely on cheaper steel from China are gonna get fucked by this. Trump might create a few new jobs in the steel industry, but it won’t be enough to offset the loss of jobs in other industries that rely on Chinese steel.
The stock market, as of this writing, is not happy with the annoumcenet.
But again, this is not just about a trade war. This is about a White House that has lost control of its boss. Trump is in fuck it mode right now, and apparently more determined than ever to go with his gut instead of listening to the advice of his advisors, most of whom had no idea that Trump was going to make this announcement until this morning, because he kept it a secret from his own people so that they couldn’t talk him out of it.
This tweet has never been more true.
NEW: An industry group says the Trump administration is run “like a bad family owned small business” — and they love it.— Justin Elliott (@JustinElliott) March 1, 2018
Slides from internal presentation hailing regulatory rollback: https://t.co/AgzlbooMOt pic.twitter.com/z39X6WXMJx
And even Republicans, again, are like “What the fuck, dude?”
Thune on tariff decision:— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) March 1, 2018
“There is no standard operating practice with this administration. Every day is a new adventure for us.”
Here’s Republican Senator Ben Sasse: “Let’s be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. Protectionism is weak, not strong. You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”
What Trump did today is basically the policy version of unhinged.
Meanwhile, John Kelly — the man who has lost control of Trump — is cracking jokes that hit a little too close to home: “The last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life — being the secretary of homeland security — but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess.”
And Mooch is still trying to get the man who fired him fired from his job:
NEW: "Does the president want to lose everyone because of General Jackass?" Anthony Scaramucci says.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 1, 2018
The ex-White House comms director tells me he is doing media interviews to get a message to Trump about Chief of Staff John Kelly and “horrible" morale inside the WH.
Is it any wonder the country is fed up with Trump?
“A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds voters looking toward the midterm elections are overwhelmingly unhappy with the country’s direction, dissatisfied with its political leadership, and interested in electing a Congress that will confront President Trump.
By close to 2-1, 58%-32%, those surveyed say they want to elect a Congress that mostly stands up to the president, not one that mostly cooperates with him. … If the election were held today, though, those surveyed say they are more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress than the Republican one by 47%-32% — a yawning 15 percentage-point advantage.”