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Wednesday, March 7, 2018


 Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey at WP:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson privately warned senior trade officials on Tuesday that President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum could endanger the U.S. national security relationship with allies, according to five people familiar with the meeting.

The morning meeting came as Republican lawmakers grasped for a strategy to persuade Trump to change his mind, with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), who had loudly criticized the plan on Monday, telling members in a closed-door meeting not to bully Trump on the decision. He said it could backfire and make things even worse.

And then on Tuesday evening, top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who had been furiously fighting the tariffs for months, announced his resignation. His exit will remove the most vocal critic of Trump’s new trade agenda from internal debates.
Those who opposed the tariffs were disappointed in Robert E. Lighthizer, an official involved in the discussions said, because he expressed skepticism in private but usually not in front of the president. And Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, did not work to sway his father-in-law against the tariffs, senior officials said.

The president considered the advice, but said he was skeptical of economists and their data. He had promised this sort of policy as a presidential candidate, and it was popular with his base. At the time, Porter, who opposed the tariffs, told others they would need to find new ways to sway Trump, people involved in the debate said. Almost everyone in the West Wing was opposed, two White House officials said.
Emily Holden and Jeremy C.F. Lin at Politico:
More than 20 top political appointees and nominees across the Trump administration either decline to acknowledge that humans are the main cause of climate change or say that significant questions exist about how much people contribute to the problem. A few even say global warming could be a good thing or might not be happening at all. Their views are in stark contrast to mainstream science, raising questions about how they will make decisions about the impact of climate change on issues like energy policy, disaster planning and national security.