It was a day of tumult: At home, abroad, within the Republican Party and inside the White House itself.
Another day in the presidency of Donald Trump.
Trump’s decision to enact steep tariffs on steel and aluminum rocked financial markets and drew criticism from home and abroad, POLITICO’s Doug Palmer reports. It had European diplomats and members of Trump’s own party howling.
It also may have edged Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic aide, toward the exit. Cohn has forcefully opposed the new tariffs, and he may now join departing White House communications director Hope Hicks in departing. Other staff exits are rumored.
The steel decision came as Republicans were still recoiling from another abrupt Trump policy lurch on guns.
His apparent embrace of gun control measures has sent Congress scrambling, POLITICO’s Elana Schor reports. It’s also had Congressional conservatives scrambling — many of them are staunch backers of the president and were caught off-guard by Trump’s abrupt embrace of gun control, POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Rachael Bade report.
“Trump threw decades of party orthodoxy on gun rights out the window …as he mused aloud about enacting a comprehensive gun control package and said due process should come after guns are taken away from dangerous people. The response … among congressional Republicans was a mix of disbelief, denial and outrage.”
Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:
H.R. PROBLEM?: After NBC News reported, citing numerous sources, that White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster was on his way out, a White House aide said Trump dismissed that talk as “fake news.”
INTEL FIGHT: The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to complain about leaks about Warner from the House Intelligence Committee.
CHANGING ENVIRONMENT: After receiving scrutiny for numerous first class flights as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt now says he’ll fly coach.
PUTIN DOWN A MARKER: Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia has developed a way to deliver a nuclear weapon that cannot be stopped by U.S. missile defenses or anyone else.
NEW ENVOY: The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, is steppingdown. The Mexican government says it’s approved the Trump administration’s choice to replace her — although that choice hasn’t yet been announced.
DRASTIC ACTION: President Trump suggested using the death penalty for drug dealers as a way to crack down the opioid epidemic.
TROUBLE BRUIN: The New York Times reports that Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin blocked UCLA from releasing video of him being heckled repeatedly by students after a lecture there this week.