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White House mulling tax cut to avoid recession: report

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The White House is considering cutting taxes or revering tariffs to head off a recession, US media reported on Monday, despite President Donald Trump’s insistence on the economy’s health.

Senior White House officials are considering several moves to stimulate the economy including temporarily cutting the payroll tax to increase workers’ monthly take-home pay, The Washington Post reported.

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Also under consideration is reversing new tariffs the Trump administration imposed on Chinese goods, according to The New York Times.

The discussion is still in the early stages, and officials have not brought up the idea with Trump, who would have to seek approval from Congress, the newspapers said.

The White House disputed the reports in a statement to the Post, saying “cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time.”

Trump on Sunday pushed back against talk of a looming recession after a raft of US data reports last week gave a mixed outlook for the economy.

“I’m prepared for everything. I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well,” Trump told reporters.

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“And most economists actually say that we’re not going to have a recession.”

Earlier on Monday, a survey was released showing that a majority of economists expect a US recession in the next two years — right around the time of the 2020 election in which Trump is standing for a second term.

Only two percent of the survey’s 226 respondents predicted a recession this year, but 38 percent expected a downturn to hit in 2020 and 34 percent in 2021, according to the polls from the National Association for Business Economists.

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Payroll taxes were cut temporarily during President Barack Obama’s term in 2011 and 2012, in an effort to counteract a sluggish recovery from the 2008 recession.

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Trump is now feuding with Iran’s Supreme Leader on Twitter: ‘Make Iran Great Again!’

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President Donald Trump is now replying directly to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Twitter.

I Friday, Khamenei tweeted a screenshot of a Trump tweet, with a message of his own.

"The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers," Khamenei posted.

"Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail," he added.

https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/1218141834842660864

Trump retweeted the message, adding his own argument.

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‘Contempt of Congress is illegal’ declared one of Trump’s newest attorneys – just days before the House voted to impeach

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One of the lesser-known names on the new list of lawyers President Donald Trump approved to defend him during the Senate impeachment trial delivered a damning remark last month – damning for President Trump, that is.

"Contempt of Congress is illegal," said Robert Ray, who served as the final Whitewater independent counsel after Ken Starr.

The Washington Post's Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent report Ray made the stunning remark – one of the Articles of Impeachment essentially is contempt of Congress, or technically, obstruction of Congress – to The Daily Signal, a right wing website run by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

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Trump raises tensions in Virginia as local authorities fear Richmond gun rally could be the next Charlottesville

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President Donald Trump appeared to pour gasoline on a political fire in Virginia only days before a far-right protest that many are worried could result in violence.

Gun activists have been threatening civil war if the commonwealth's legislature enacts new gun safety legislation.

Right-wing militias sought to organize an armed action at the capitol, but Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to prevent firearms on the grounds.

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