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Mitch McConnell confirms Republican rebellion over Trump’s new tariffs on Mexico

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirms a rebellion could be brewing within the Republican Party over President Donald Trump’s newly-announced tariffs on Mexico.

“There is not much support in my conference for tariffs — that’s for sure,” McConnell said Tuesday afternoon.

When asked if he would personally oppose Trump’s tariffs, McConnell hedged the question, saying he hoped the matter would be averted by the Trump administration’s ongoing talks with Mexico.

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“Our hope is that the tariffs will be avoided, and we’ll not have to answer any hypotheticals, such as you suggest,” McConnell told reporters.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune acknowledged that a resolution of disapproval could gain substantial support from Republicans. However, many questions remain unanswered about Trump’s plan.

“There’s a lot of questions about it. But I mean, suffice it to say, our members have a lot of concerns,” Thune said. “They are very concerned about it,”

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., expressed a similar thought after a policy luncheon attended by Republican senators and Trump administration lawyers.

“I think the administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval on another national emergency act — this time about trying to implement tariffs,” he said.

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If Republicans do unite to thwart Trump’s tariffs, it would be arguably one of the most substantial policy rebukes of his entire presidency — an unprecedented pushback against the president from his own party.

In March, a dozen Republican senators joined forces with Democrats to override Trump’s attempt to declare a national emergency, which allowed the president to reallocate billions of dollars toward his coveted order wall. That resolution of disapproval was ultimately vetoed by the president. (At least 20 Republican senators would have had to support all of the Senate Democrats and two Senate independents in order to have overridden Trump’s presidential veto.)

During a state visit to London earlier this week, Trump responded to the potential Republican revolt by saying, “I don’t think they will do that. I think if they do, it’s foolish.”

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If a resolution of disapproval is passed in Congress, it could jeopardize the president’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. That, in turn, could make it impossible for him to fund his campaign promise to “build that wall.”

Trump’s support for protectionism has long put him at odds with most establishment Republicans, who tend to support free trade and view protectionist tariffs as a form of taxation, which they must oppose in principle. The president has expressed protectionist views as far back as the 1980’s. By contrast, Trump’s director of the White House National Trade Council is Peter Navarro, an economist long known for his protectionist views, who defended the president’s trade policies in a USA Today editorial last year, writing:

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No president has done more to defend the American manufacturing base from unfair trade practices than Donald J. Trump. What may surprise even his critics is that no president — since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” — has done more to lift the prospects of low- and moderate-income families than President Trump.


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Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate

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The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.

The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.

During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.

Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege

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Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info

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Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.

Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.

Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.

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Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

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