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Wilbur Ross snuck industry execs into White House to manipulate ‘unglued’ Trump into tariff decision: report

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross steered an angry President Donald Trump into backing an aluminum and steel tariff over the objections of other senior White House officials.

Trump was furious Wednesday evening over Hope Hicks’ testimony before lawmakers, his ongoing feud with attorney general Jeff Sessions and what he perceives as unfair treatment of son-in-law Jared Kushner by White House chief of staff John Kelly, reported NBC News.

“The president became ‘unglued,’ in the words of one official familiar with the president’s state of mind,” the network reported.

That’s when Ross and Peter Navarro, the White House director for trade, pushed Trump to launch a trade war with the tariff.

Ross had already set up a White House meeting with steel and aluminum executives for 11 a.m. Thursday, but a source told NBC News the commerce secretary hadn’t told other White House officials who was coming.

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That left the White House unable to conduct background checks on the executives to ensure the president should meet with them, and they were not able to be cleared for entry by the Secret Service.

Kelly, the embattled chief of staff, was unaware of their names, NBC reported.

The White House had no position papers or announcements ready for the tariff policy by late Wednesday, and the White House counsel’s office had already said they’d need at least two weeks to complete a legal review of the policy.

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Another White House official responded to NBC News by insisting the communications team, still led for now by Hicks, who announced her resignation Wednesday afternoon, was “well-prepared to support the president’s announcement.”

The communications team also partially denied the report about Ross sidestepping procedures to bring in industry executives to meet with Trump.

“Many of the attendees had been in the White House before and had already been vetted for attendance at a presidential event,” the communications team said.


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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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