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Trump may seek separate trade deals with Canada, Mexico: US adviser

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U.S. President Donald Trump may seek separate talks with Canada and Mexico in a bid to get individual trade deals with the two countries, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday.

“He is very seriously contemplating kind of a shift in the NAFTA negotiations. His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately,” Kudlow said in an interview with Fox News.

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“He may be moving quickly toward these bilateral discussions instead of as a whole.”

The United States, Canada and Mexico have been in months of negotiations to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has long criticized as having harmed the United States economically.

On Friday, Trump said he might prefer to end NAFTA in favor of separate bilateral agreements with the two U.S. neighbors.

Kudlow said the U.S. president was moving toward that scenario.

“He prefers bilateral negotiations and he’s looking at two much different countries,” he said. “Canada’s a different country than Mexico. They have different problems.

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“He believes that bilaterals have always been better. He hates these multilaterals … he hates large treaties.”

Such a move toward separate talks would come at a tense time in U.S. trade relations with the two countries. The Trump administration said on Thursday it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, ending a two-month exemption and setting the stage for a possible trade war.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tariffs an affront to the longstanding security partnership between Canada and the United States, and Canada announced retaliatory steps.

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In a television appearance on Sunday, Kudlow called the trade frictions a “family quarrel.”

Reporting by Eric Walsh and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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‘You morons’: Republicans unleash a flood of mockery as they ask Sondland if he was involved in ‘drug deals’

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During a back-and-forth with GOP counsel Stephen Castor, US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, was asked his thoughts on previous closed-door testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, who characterized Sondland's dealings with Ukraine by using the metaphor of a "drug deal."

The metaphor caught on with other GOP questioners, such as GOP House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Devin Nunes, causing some to wonder if he even knows that Bolton was being metaphorical. Nunes' comments prompted some pushback from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who told him that "no one thinks they're talking about a literal drug deal here. Or a drug cocktail. The import, I think, of [Bolton's] comments is quite clear, that he believed that this bargain, this quid pro quo ... was not something he wanted to be a part of."

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GOP senators lob out excuses to avoid watching impeachment hearings: ‘Took my kid to school’

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European ambassador Gordon Sondland's impeachment testimony sent shock waves through Washington D.C. on Wednesday -- but they seemingly weren't felt by Republican senators.

Per CNN's Michael Warren, multiple GOP senators said on Wednesday that they were not watching Sondland's testimony, which directly implicated President Donald Trump in a quid-pro-quo scheme with Ukraine.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), for example, said that he "took my kid to school" instead of watching Sondland, while Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he was busy "chairing my own hearing."

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Ken Starr says ‘it’s over’ for Trump: Democrats know ‘the president in fact committed the crime of bribery’

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Former independent prosecutor Ken Starr suggested on Wednesday that President Donald Trump impeachment could now be a sure thing.

Following the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Fox News host Bret Baier called the witness "very damning" for Trump -- and Starr agreed.

"We've gotten close to the president," Starr said of Sondland's testimony. "The president may have covered himself by saying no quid pro quo, the record is muddled. So we have Gordon Sondland's understanding. It doesn't look good for the president substantively."

Starr compared the current process to the articles of impeachment that were drafted against President Richard Nixon.

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