An outgoing Republican lawmaker tore into Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on aluminum and steel on Tuesday morning, accusing the president of making the decision based on “crony capitalism” designed to enrich his friends.
Appearing on CNN with Alisyn Camerota, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), first addressed the host’s questions about former Trump aide Sam Nunberg’s wild Monday night multiple televised meltdowns.
“That’s just beyond bizarre,” Dent replied. “To see that Erin Burnett [CNN] interview where she had to ask if he was drinking? It seems to me somebody needs to stage an intervention on his behalf because he’s got enormous problems. He acknowledged his own lawyer will probably fire him, he should never stand in front of a camera. I tell my staff, if I’m about to do something destructive, tackle me, and he needs a tackler right now to get him off the camera.”
“It’s clear to me this man has a lot of problems,” he continued. “I don’t know if what he is saying is true or not. He doesn’t want to comply with a subpoena? Who does? Most people comply because they don’t want to go to jail.”
Following a discussion on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump White House, host Camerota turned to Trump’s tariff proposal that would have a devastating effect on Dent’s blue-collar industrial district.
“The president is set to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel — what do you think?” Camerota asked.
“I represent the city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Bethlehem Steel was the second largest producer of steel at one point, butthat company no longer exists. We don’t make steel in my district anymore,” Dent explained. “I will tell you that we do not need to impose these types of tariffs in this kind of scattershot matter, it’s a mistake.”
“This represents crony capitalism of the worst type,” he continued. “Protecting a few at the cost of many. We’re going after Canada! Canada is not a security threat, they’re our friends. They’re the biggest exporter of steel and aluminum to the United States.”
Dent’s comments about “crony capitalism” comes days after it was revealed that Trump associate Carl Icahn dumped $31 million in steel-related holdings a week before the president made his proposal
“These aluminum tariffs will directly affect my congressional district,” he elaborated. “In Hershey, Pennsylvania, it’s the sweetest place on Earth. Well they use aluminum foil to wrap those Hershey Kisses — 70 million Kisses produced in my district every day. That is a lot of foil, that is a lot of aluminum. The point I’m making is this is going to have a direct impact on my district. If the Trump administration were smart about this — by the way, I had a conversation with Secretary [Wilbur] Ross about the aluminum tariffs months ago, about how this would have a negative effect — if we want to deal with China, let’s deal with China and target them. Why go after Africa, Germany, South Korea, and Japan? These countries that are friendly to us and are not national security threats on steel or aluminum.”
Watch the video below via CNN: