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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.

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“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.

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.

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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.

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.

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“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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New York couple point guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their house

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A New York couple pointed guns at protesters marching past their house during a Black Lives Matter rally, and activists want them to be charged.

Protesters were nearing the end of their parade route when a white man came out of his home shouting obscenities in an apparent attempt to incite the group, and then yelled to his wife to get his gun, reported WNYT-TV.

Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, who took part in the march, said the woman came back outside and started waving the gun around.

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Australian columnist aghast at America’s ‘rotten’ COVID-19 response: ‘We are witnessing the fall of a great power’

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A columnist for an Australian newspaper has been watching the United States' response to the novel coronavirus with a mix of shock and horror -- and he now believes "we are witnessing the fall of a great power."

Crispin Hull, an editor and columnist for The Canberra Times, argues in his latest column that President Donald Trump's disastrous handling of the pandemic is symbolic of deep rot within the American political system.

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Largest bank in the US holds back $10 billion anticipating Americans won’t be able to pay their mortgage

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Last week it was revealed that nearly one-third of Americans couldn't pay their mortgages or their rent. It's the third month in a row with over 30 percent of American renters and homeowners showing that they're in trouble, despite the stimulus check from Washington.

Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the largest bank in the United States, JP Morgan Chase, put aside $10 billion, anticipating that the numbers of home loan defaults are going to get far worse.

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