Trump moves on steel, aluminum tariffs despite lobbying efforts
With David Beavers, Garrett Ross and Daniel Lippman
TRUMP MOVES ON STEEL, ALUMINUM TARIFFS DESPITE LOBBYING EFFORTS: President Donald Trump’s move today to tax steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union — after granting them a temporary reprieve a month ago — is a setback for the lobbyists hired to stop the administration from doing so. As PI has previously reported, companies have rushed to hire lobbyists in recent months to advocate on the steel and aluminum tariffs. Fujifilm Holdings, for instance, hired David Wilkins, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, and one of his colleagues at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarboroughto lobby on the tariffs. But the administration has proved impervious so far to appeals not to tax imports from American allies.
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MASSIE SAYS LOBBYIST OFFERED TO HELP GET HIM ON WAYS AND MEANS: Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) claims in a new episode of a documentary series that “a lobbyist in the medical device industry” offered to help him get on the House Ways and Means Committee. “He said, ‘Thomas, you’re different from these other congressmen,’” Massie told “The Swamp,” a documentary series that follows several members of the House Freedom Caucus, of which Massie is a member. “‘My lobbyist friends and I are prepared to raise the amount of money it’s gonna take to get you on the Ways and Means Committee.’ I wanted to run out of there. After his proposal, I was trying to find a shower.” Here’s the clip.
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RUSSIAN BANK INVITED STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TO KENNEDY CENTER GALA: The Center for Public Integrity’s Carrie Levine got her hands on emails between Daniel Fried, the State Department’s sanctions policy coordinator, and Daniel Russell, a former State Department official who leads the U.S.-Russia Business Council. “Clearly your last meeting with Andrey Kostin made an impression!” Russell wrote to Fried in 2016. “Please see attached a special invitation from him” for Fried and a guest to attend a gala at the Kennedy Center sponsored by VTB, a Russian bank under sanction. Kostin is VTB’s chairman. Fried declined the invitation. “I won’t be attending,” he wrote. “We’re not interested in advancing their corporate reputation.” Full story.
PARKLAND PARENTS START SUPER PAC TO TAKE ON NRA: “Parkland parents have created a [super PAC] directed against politicians who are funded by the National Rifle Association,” The Sun Sentinel’s Lisa Huriash reports. “The group, which begins taking donations Wednesday, will use its money to try to oust political candidates who both oppose its efforts to amend the laws that permit semi-automatic rifles, or who receive campaign donations from the NRA — or both. … State records show Families vs Assault Rifles PAC Inc. was registered as a nonprofit on May 18 by Jeff Kasky, the father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High student activist Cameron Kasky, who is a founder of March for Our Lives.” The group also registered as a super PAC with the FEC. Full story.
IF YOU MISSED IT THIS MORNING: Trump said today he will grant a pardon to Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative political commentator and filmmaker who pleaded guilty to a felony in 2014 over his use of straw donors to make illegal contributions in a 2012 Senate race,” POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein and Cristiano Lima report. “‘Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!’ the president tweeted.” Full story.
— Mercury has hired Kirk Wagar, a former U.S. ambassador to Singapore under President Barack Obama, as a co-chairman of the firm. Wagar is also a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.
— Josh Silberberg has joined FP1 Strategies as a managing director. He previously worked for 30 Point Strategies, where he worked on health care, energy and trade issues and crisis communications.