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Trump adviser Steve Bannon says the US is in economic war with China: media

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The United States is in an economic war with China, U.S President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist has said, warning Washington is losing the fight but is about to hit China hard over unfair trade practices.

“We’re at economic war with China,” Steve Bannon told U.S. news site prospect.org in an interview published in Wednesday.

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“It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path,” he was quoted as saying.

“If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had seen the report, and reiterated the essence of the China-U.S. trade relationship is mutually beneficial.

“In reality, China and the United States’ long term cooperation has brought about real benefits for both countries’ peoples, any unbiased person will clearly see this fact,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

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“We have also said before, a trade war has no future. A trade war does not serve the interests of any party, as fighting a trade war will not produce a winner. We hope that relevant parties can stop viewing issues of the 21st century with a 19th- or 20th-century mentality.”

Bannon said the United States would use Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from U.S. corporations doing business in China and follow up with complaints against steel and aluminum dumping, according to prospect.org.

On Monday, Trump authorized an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property in the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing.

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“We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us,” said Bannon, who acknowledged he was battling trade doves within the U.S. administration.

He said there was no reason to go soft on China in order to get Beijing’s support over North Korea because he believed China would do little more to rein in Pyongyang.

Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear build-up with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the Korean peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote, prospect.org reported.

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In contrast to Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” against North Korea, Bannon said: “There’s no military solution, forget it.”

“Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about …”

Asked about any connection between his economic nationalism and white nationalism in the United States, and in particular the racist violence in Charlottesville, Bannon said: “Ethno-nationalism — it’s losers. It’s a fringe element.”

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“I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more. These guys are a collection of clowns.”

However, Bannon, who formerly led the right-wing website Breitbart, said focusing on race would help the Republicans politically.

“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Additional reporting by Christian Shepherd in BEIJING; Editing by Paul Tait)

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George Conway to give live analysis of impeachment hearings on MSNBC

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George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, will be giving analysis on President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings on one of the president's least favorite cable news networks.

MSNBC director of booking Jesse Rodriguez announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that Conway is joining "our live special coverage of the impeachment hearings" that are set to begin at 10 a.m. EST.

MSNBC EXCLUSIVE TODAY — George Conway joins our live special coverage of the impeachment hearings @MSNBC @gtconway3d

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Rick Wilson claims Jim Jordan will take extreme measures to derail impeachment hearings

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On Wednesday, former GOP strategist and Never Trump commentator Rick Wilson warned that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) may have a plan to derail the public impeachment hearings by repeatedly blurting out the alleged name of the whistleblower who first detailed improprieties in President Donald Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky:

GOP aide tells me one plan discussed is for Gym Jordan and others to repeatedly use the whistleblower's name as one of several strategies to blow up the hearings and make the media report on his identity.

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Republicans resort to the most ludicrous possible strategy to defend Trump from impeachment

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There has been a lot of talk about "gaslighting" during the last three years, and for good reason. It truly does feel as if Donald Trump and his accomplices are trying to make us all believe we're losing our minds. And as all launch into this impeachment drama, it appears they'll be working overtime at that task.

This article was originally published at Salon

I've been talking a lot about the Republican strategy, and if one thing is clear it's that the president is giving them very little room to maneuver. Republicans would prefer to argue that Trump was wrong to do what he did on Ukraine, but it wasn't impeachable. Problem is, Trump won't stand for that. They wish they could say that he didn't understand what he was doing, but he is having none of that one either. So they are left with is the most fatuous of all defenses at this moment: There was nothing wrong with what the president said because he was only trying to clear up the corruption problem in Ukraine.

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