Playbook Power Briefing: Trump says he’s sticking with tariffs … Stay tuned
TODAY, AT THE WHITE HOUSE …
— TRUMP ON TARIFFS, via WaPo’s Phil Rucker: “I’m sticking with 10 and 25 initially. I’ll have a right to go up or down depending on the country and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries. I just want fairness, because we have not been treated fairly by other countries.”
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REPUBLICANS have said for years that they wanted to instill certainty in the economy. Trump is basically saying he’ll do what he wants when he wants to do it.
— TRUMP ON GARY COHN: “He may be a globalist, but I still like him. … He’s going to go out, make another couple hundred million, and then he’s going to maybe come back. He might come back, right? We’ll be here–” A voice, off camera: “Absolutely.” Trump: “–another seven years, hopefully — that’s a long time. But I have a feeling you’ll be back.”
— TRUMP ON BACKGROUND CHECKS: “Background checks are moving along in Congress. I think moving along pretty well. You know, you’ve been covering Congress for a long time. Some things like even background checks, making them tougher, it’s never that easy, but it is moving along and a lot of great things are being done. We’re making it much tougher. A lot of things are happening right now as we speak.”
THIS IS NOT TRUE: Gun legislation is not moving in any significant way.
Good Thursday afternoon. OUR MISTAKE … EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD SPOTTED in Playbook, but today we got it wrong. A usually very reliable tipster passed off really bad information to Anna about a party last night at the Metropolitan Club. The going away party was for Reed Cordish. Gary Cohn was there, as was Ivanka Trump, who read a note from Jared Kushner, who was traveling back from Mexico; Kellyanne Conway, retiring Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and NIH Director Francis Collins. We apologize for the error.
SWAMP CHECK — “What swamp? Lobbyists get ethics waivers to work for Trump,” by the AP’s Michael Biesecker, Juliet Linderman and Richard Lardner: “President Donald Trump and his appointees have stocked federal agencies with ex-lobbyists and corporate lawyers who now help regulate the very industries from which they previously collected paychecks, despite promising as a candidate to drain the swamp in Washington.
“A week after his January 2017 inauguration, Trump signed an executive order that bars former lobbyists, lawyers and others from participating in any matter they lobbied or otherwise worked on for private clients within two years before going to work for the government.
“But records reviewed by The Associated Press show Trump’s top lawyer, White House counsel Don McGahn, has issued at least 24 ethics waivers to key administration officials at the White House and executive branch agencies.” http://bit.ly/2G7gKQC
HEATHER CAYGLE: “Record-breaking number of women run for office”: “More than a quarter-century after the ‘Year of the Woman,’ women still make up only one in five elected officials on Capitol Hill. But this election cycle, more women are signing up to run for the highest elected offices than ever before — so far, at least 575 women have declared their intention to run for the House, the Senate or governor.” http://politi.co/2G5SzSw
#WOMENRULE — ANNA is holding a live #WomenRule podcast at SXSW with former Texas state legislator WENDY DAVIS and Milk Bar CEO CHRISTINA TOOSI. WHEN: Monday at 12:30 p.m. WHERE: Fairmont Wisteria Room. http://bit.ly/2If87UH
— NEW: POLITICO is launching the WOMEN RULE CANDIDATE TRACKER for the 2018 midterms. The #WomenRule franchise is teaming up with the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and the Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center to track women running for office in 2018 and provide real-time analysis. http://politi.co/2G7i6ec
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ABOUT LAST NIGHT — NYT’s KEN VOGEL: “Venturing Into the Swamp, Trump Dines With Major Donors”: “President Trump dined at the ornate Georgetown home of [C. Boyden Gray,] a prominent Washington lawyer on Wednesday night with wealthy donors who are expected to play crucial roles in financing his re-election campaign. …
“Attendees included donors and operatives who are working to raise money for the America First groups, such as the Dallas financial executive Roy W. Bailey and the Oklahoma oil billionaire Harold Hamm, as well as the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., according to someone briefed on the list of attendees and published reports.” http://nyti.ms/2FtWeIR
THE TRADE PLAN … KIND OF — “U.S. Asks China for Plan to Reduce Trade Deficit by $100 Billion,” by WSJ’s Lingling Wei: “The Trump administration is asking Beijing for a plan to cut the annual U.S. trade deficit with China by $100 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
“President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that Washington had asked Beijing for a $1 billion reduction — less than 0.3% of the countries’ annual trade gap or around one day’s worth of the trade imbalance. His tweet was off by $99 billion. According to the people, Trump administration officials made the request to Liu He, the main architect of China’s economic policy, last week when he was in Washington.” http://on.wsj.com/2FrOKWy
INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE — “White House meets with group urging English as official U.S. language,” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Debra Saunders: “Stephen Guschov, the executive director of ProEnglish, told the Review-Journal that he and ProEnglish Director of Government Relations Dan Carter have met with staffers who work under Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
“An official from Pence’s office confirmed that a staffer met with ProEnglish ‘for an informational meeting to hear out their policy priorities,’ while an official from Trump’s press office confirmed that ‘a mid-level staffer from domestic policy met with (Guschov) as a courtesy measure.’” http://bit.ly/2FpPUSE