President Donald Trump escalated his trade war Friday, announcing a 5 percent tariff on goods coming from Mexico as a way to stem the flow of migration.
On CNN Friday, Marc Lotter, Strategic Director of Communications for Trump’s re-election campaign, floundered when he tried to explain the strategy behind the tariffs.
“I hear you, but do you accept that? Will you accept that, though, Marc? Will you accept — is it the position of the campaign that you believe that a worse off Mexico economy is going to somehow stop the flow of illegal immigration north?” Kate Bolduan demanded to know.
“What I’m hoping is Mexico will use the two weeks before these tariffs come into effect or they work quickly to have them removed so we don’t have to continue to escalate this and we can work to stop the crisis of illegal immigration coming across the border,” Lotter replied.
“This is entirely in Mexico’s hands. They can decide when the tariffs start, if the tariffs start, how high they go and when they come off,” Lotter claimed.
“That does not seem to be the position of Republicans,” Bolduan noted.
“Republicans like Chuck Grassley, who largely stand with the president on many issues — he said trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential authority. How is Chuck Grassley wrong?” Bolduan asked.
“I have a lot of respect for chairman Grassley,” Lotter replied.
“But in this case, we have seen too often in the past requests from the United States to our allies and neighborhoods around the world in dealing with something have been agreed to verbally and not backed up with actual action. This is a president who believes in dealing from a position of strength. He understands this is something that Mexico, they understand now how serious he is about this. This is what those emergency economic powers are designed to do so a president of any party can act in accordance with national security, national interests, especially when our economic interests are challenged,” Lotter said.
CNN anchor says Trump is ‘arsonist-in-chief’ on the economy: ‘Start practicing your stop, drop and roll’
Conservative CNN anchor S.E. Cupp blasted President Donald Trump for taking a "blow torch to the U.S. economy this week."
"If it feels like the world is on fire, that’s because it literally is," Cupp said. "New reports that yesterday a U.S. plane made its way to South America to help local authorities fight the massive fires ripping through the Amazon, the world’s largest rain forest."
"The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro finally caved to global pressure to authorize the country's military to assist in putting the fires out. That afterBolsonaro initially accused his critics of intentionally starting the fires -- to make him look bad," she said. "Chaos, delayed action, conspiracy theories, sound familiar?
‘They sense weakness’: Former senator says the world is ‘smirking’ as Trump flails away at latest China tariffs
Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) appeared on CNN Friday to discuss how President Donald Trump has completely mishandled his long-running trade war with China.
While talking about trade with CNN's Jim Sciutto, Baucus said that China timed its new announcements of tariffs against $75 billion worth of American goods specifically to humiliate the president.
"They sense weakness," explained Baucus, who has also previously served as an American ambassador to China. "And I think that they see a weakness in the United States today. Trump has been weakened because of the weakened American economy and they're retaliating against the tariffs that Trump imposed after there was a truce there would be no tariffs."
Trump aide Cuccinelli snaps after CNN’s Camerota shows him pictures of caged kids: ‘I’m not going to take that’
A CNN interview with acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli took a contentious turn on Friday morning after host Alisyn Camerota showed him pictures of immigrant children being held in cages and asked him why he would want to hold them even longer based upon a recent policy change he instituted.
As the CNN host pressed the Trump administration official on plans to hold children indefinitely, she put pictures of the kids in cages up on the screen which angered Cuccinelli.
"On one level it protects children, but it also exposes children to the overcrowding. Here's some of the roll we've been playing for months," she began, only to have the White House official cut her off.