‘You have no choice but to vote for me,’ Trump tells N.H. rally

Even as markets show signs of a coming recession, President Donald Trump told New Hampshire voters Thursday that they had to support his re-election campaign or suffer the economic consequences.

“I won the election, the markets went up thousands of points, things started happening,” Trump said at a rally here. “If, for some reason, I were not to have won the election, these markets would have crashed. That will happen even more so in 2020. You have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes.”

“Whether you love me or hate me, you have got to vote for me,” he added.

Trump, appearing at his first campaign stop in New Hampshire this year, delivered a wide-ranging speech lasting more than 90 minutes that addressed Hillary Clinton’s emails, eradicating the AIDS epidemic and the prospects of the nearly two dozen Democrats running for president against him.

“You’ve got Pocahontas is rising. You’ve got Kamala, Kamala is falling. You’ve got Beto, Beto is like, gone. We’ll see what happens. Whoever it is, I don’t know that it matters,” Trump said, referring to Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, before turning to former Vice President Joe Biden: “I think Sleepy Joe might be able to limp across the finish line, maybe. … I sort of hope it’s him.”

The president received his largest applause of the night when he pledged his support for gun ownership, even though he has repeatedly said he is seriously considering several changes to tighten gun restrictions following a police shooting in Pennsylvania, and two deadly mass shootings in Ohio and Texas in recent weeks.

“It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger. It’s the person holding the gun,” Trump said, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd of about 10,000 in the SNHU Arena when he called gun violence a mental health problem. “We can’t make it hard for good, solid, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.”

Trump repeated his vows to use new scientific breakthroughs to end AIDS within the next decade, though some say his administration’s policies will make that goalmore difficult.

“We will achieve new breakthroughs in science and medicine, ending in the AIDS epidemic in America, and finding new cures for childhood cancer,” he said. “And something I never thought I’d be able to say: Within one decade, the AIDS epidemic in the United States will be gone. In 10 years, the AIDS epidemic will be eradicated. So great. Who thought that was going to be happening? Who thought I would be able to get to say that?”

When Trump briefly mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), several members of the crowd began a chant of “send her back,” but it did not catch on. He has repeatedly clashed with Omar and a group of progressive, first-year lawmakers in recent weeks, after making racist statements about them. Earlier Thursday, Israeli leaders barred Omar from the country after Trump lobbied them to deny her entry.

A chant that did catch on with the crowd was “lock her up,” when Trump mentioned Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and her emails, and took the crowd through the wins and losses on his 2016 electoral map.

As Trump was laying out his electoral map, he shared a story about Michigan, a state he narrowly won in 2016. Trump’s own polling has shown him falling behind in the battleground state.

“Five or six years before I even thought about running, for whatever reason, they named me man of the year in Michigan. I said how come? I didn’t even understand it myself,” Trump said. The president has previously used this anecdote in speeches, though it is unclear whether Trump ever received that award.

“I wasn’t even political,” Trump added. “But I was always complaining that our car business was being stolen. I mean it’s sort of obvious right? Mexico now has 32 percent of our car business. It all left. We are bringing it back at a level that nobody’s ever seen before.”

The Trump campaign views New Hampshire as another battleground state in the 2020 general election. Clinton won New Hampshire in 2016, and the president is making a play to turn it red in the next election.

“New Hampshire, you have a reputation. Very, very elegant state. You’re not acting it tonight, and that’s a good thing,” Trump said to the enthusiastic crowd. “New Hampshire was taken away from us [in 2016] but we did great in New Hampshire. We should’ve won in New Hampshire.”

The president also mentioned another race shaping up in New Hampshire. Corey Lewandowski, who was fired as Trump’s campaign manager but remains close to the president, may run for Senate in the Granite State. The two spoke about the race on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

As he stood before the crowd, Trump lavished praise on Lewandowski, but he stopped short of outright endorsing him.

“I think he’d be tough to beat. I’ll tell you one thing: He’s gonna go into Washington and he’s gonna have you in mind,” Trump said, adding that Lewandowski would be “fantastic.”

But in the next breath, the president conveyed that he wasn’t yet making a declaration of support.

“People ask if I’ll support him and I say, ‘I don’t know if he’s running,’” the president said, before turning to his former aide. “Corey, let us know, please.”

Lewandowski greeted the president upon his arrival at the Manchester airport. He and his family briefly joined Trump on Air Force One. The president departed the airport with Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican. Sununu, who faces a potentially competitive 2020 reelection bid, has relayed concerns about Lewandowski to party leadership.

During the rally, the president also gave a shout-out to Republican New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who has previously called for Clinton to face a firing squad.

Early on in his speech, the president briefly stopped his remarks when a protester interrupted him. “Go home, start exercising,” Trump taunted as police escorted the man out of the crowd. “That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” he said, though the protesters appeared to be thin.

In the next breath, the president said his campaign was part a movement “built on love.”

[Politico]

State Department watchdog details political retaliation against ‘disloyal’ staffers

Top officials in the State Department bureau that deals with international organizations engaged in “disrespectful and hostile treatment” of staffers, including harassing some over suspicions that they were “disloyal” due to their perceived political views, a federal watchdog says.

The findings were contained in a report soon-to-be published by the State Department inspector general’s office.

The report, obtained Thursday by POLITICO, is one of two reports that explore allegations that President Donald Trump’s political appointees retaliated against career State Department employees.

The report singles out the assistant secretary in the international organizations bureau, Kevin Moley, as failing to stop the misbehavior despite numerous complaints. It also contains numerous examples of alleged actions taken by Mari Stull, another senior political appointee in the bureau, who has since left.

Stull and Moley were said to have “frequently berated employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff,” according to the report.

The majority of the employees the inspector general’s office interviewed “either directly experienced hostile treatment or witnessed such treatment directed at others. In fact, one IO employee told OIG that working with Ms. Stull involved ‘six to eight hostile interactions per day.’ 

Stull, who was known to describe herself as “the Vino Vixen” due to her past keeping of a wine blog, was also alleged in past media reports as having tried to keep lists of career government staffers she considered disloyal or loyal to the president.

According to the inspector general’s report, many staffers said Moley and Stull “made positive or negative comments about employees based on perceived political views. For example, several career employees reported that throughout her tenure at the Department, Ms. Stull referred to them or to other career employees as ‘Obama holdovers,’ ‘traitors,’ or ‘disloyal.'”

Moley, however, insisted to the inspector general’s office that “the only occasion on which he heard Ms. Stull make such remarks was in reference to former political appointees whom she believed were converted to career employees.”

Career government staffers are sworn to serve in government in a non-partisan fashion, no matter who or which party controls the White House. But many of Trump’s political appointees believe there exists a “deep state” among the career staffers determined to thwart the president’s agenda.

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick’s next report on the broader topic of alleged political retaliation is expected to focus on staffers who worked directly for the secretary of state’s office. It’s not clear when that report will be published.

Moley did not immediately reply to a request for comment, but in a response to the investigation, which the inspector general included in his report, he said the misbehavior attributed to him “does not represent the person I am or have ever been.”

Stull could not immediately be reached for comment. She declined the inspector general’s interview request during the investigation

[Politico]

Trump accuses news media of trying to crash the economy

President Donald Trump on Thursday baselessly accused the press of trying to tank the American economy, shrugging off any blame for a prospective economic slowdown and possible recession heading into his reelection next year. 

“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” he said in a tweet. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”

The president offered no evidence to support his claim that the media, a frequent target of his ire, is working to weaken the U.S. economy.

Trump and his allies have signaled that the president intends to run on his economic record next year, hoping that record-low levels of unemployment and sustained growth building on recovery from the 2008 recession will persuade voters otherwise turned off by his more controversial policies and rhetoric to nonetheless cast their ballot for him. 

Trump’s outburst comes after the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst day of the year on Wednesday, sliding 800 points after one economic measure that has reliably preceded the last five recessions triggered alarm bells on Wall Street.

The White House has shrugged off concerns that another recession is looming, pointing to a strong jobs market and continued wage growth and echoing Trump’s rhetoric that the U.S. is not on a level playing field when it comes to monetary or trade policy. 

Despite the Trump administration’s insistence that the strong economy is on track to continue, many economists have warned of the potential of a recession amid a global economic slowdown. The president’s trade war with China and his threats to level tariffs on other U.S. allies and trade partners have created uncertainty in global markets and contributed to lower spending by businesses. 

Late last month, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 recession, a step the president had hammered the central bank for not taking earlier, and is set to slash them at least once more this year. That the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates again is seen by some as yet another warning of potential economic turmoil.

But despite widespread talk of a potential economic downturn, the stock market began to rebound Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing slightly by mid-afternoon. The federal government, too, offered good news, reporting that consumer spending exceeded expectations last month.

[Politico]

Trump encourages Israel to ban Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

President Trump tweeted Thursday that it would show “great weakness” if Israel were to allow Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to enter the country during an upcoming congressional delegation visit on Friday.

“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

Why it matters: As Axios’ Jonathan Swan and I previously reported, Trump has privately been telling advisers that he thinks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should use an anti-boycott law to bar the two freshman congresswomen over their support for the BDS movement. In response to our story, the White House said that Trump didn’t pressure Israel in any way and that Israel can do whatever it wants.

The state of play: Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer had previously said Israel would allow Tlaib and Omar to enter, but Netanyahu — a staunch Trump ally who is facing an election in the fall — is now reconsidering as a result of pressure from the president.

  • According to Israeli officials, Netanyahu is trying to find a solution that will address the pressure from the White House but will not totally bar Omar and Tlaib.
  • As of 5 a.m. EDT, no decision had been made. One of the possibilities floated would be allowing the congresswomen to enter Israel but limiting their movements only to the Palestinian Authority.
  • Another option is to allow them in on humanitarian grounds. An Israeli official told me that if Tlaib filed a humanitarian request to visit her relatives, the Israeli government will consider it favorably.

[Axios]

Update

One hour after Trump’s tweet:

Trump Administration Seeks Decertification Of Immigration Judges’ Union

The Justice Department late last week moved to seek the decertification of the union representing hundreds of U.S. immigration judges, ratcheting up a simmering battle over the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies.

The department filed a petition Friday asking the Federal Labor Relations Authority to determine whether the certification of National Association of Immigration Judges as the union representing some 440 immigration judges should be revoked “because the bargaining unit members are management officials under the statutory definition,” according to a Justice Department spokesperson.

“This is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the DOJ to evade transparency and accountability, and undermine the decisional independence of the nation’s 440 Immigration Judges,” Judge Ashley Tabaddor, speaking in her capacity as president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said in an emailed statement. “We are trial court judges who make decisions on the basis of case specific facts and the nation’s immigration laws. We do not set policies, and we don’t manage staff.”

The administration and the immigration judges union have been at loggerheads over a variety of issues, including the judges’ status as employees of the Justice Department. Judges are appointed by the attorney general and they are not part of the independent judiciary. They have publicly argued for their separation from the Justice Department.

Last year, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions took the unusual step of reviewingsome judicial decisions in the name of reducing the backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases clogging the courts.

Sessions also ordered judges to end the practice of temporarily removing cases from their dockets without issuing decisions, a move known as “administrative closure.”

The Justice Department also imposed a quotasystem on judges, linking the number of cleared cases to their performance evaluations. The judges’ union said the courts need more immigration judges, not assembly-line proceedings.

President Trump has appointed 190immigration judges since taking office. As of June 2019, there are more than 900,000 pending cases in immigration courts, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

The move to decertify the immigration judges’ union comes as no surprise to many judges.

“Clearly they want to use the judges to ramrod through cases and ramp up deportation regardless of any due process defects their policies have,” said one judge who isn’t authorized to speak for the union and requested anonymity. Without the union, judges would be effectively muzzled and unable to publicly share their views about the courts, the judge added.

This is not the first time the Justice Department has tried to decertify the immigration judges’ union. The Clinton administration sought decertification, but the Federal Labor Relations Authority rejectedthe notion that judges are managers who make policy. But some judges are concerned that the FLRA under the Trump administration would be less sympathetic to the union. 

“It’s absurd that anyone would consider us managers,” said Tabaddor, a judge based in Los Angeles. “We don’t even have the authority to order pencils.”

[NPR]

Trump blasts media, Biden, Warren in Pennsylvania

President Trump blasted the media, U.S. trading partners and his Democratic rivals for the White House in a Tuesday speech that had been advertised as focusing on energy and manufacturing.

Trump spent roughly an hour in Monaca, Pa., speaking to workers at a Shell petrochemical plant. While his speech was sprinkled with references to his administration’s efforts to expand pipelines, produce more energy and cut regulations, the president regularly went off on tangents swiping at critics.

“Can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean, we’re leading without it. Can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? The election would be over,” Trump said, taking a dig at the media.

In another random aside directed at the media, Trump mocked the Academy Awards and suggested the annual show had seen a drop in ratings because it didn’t align with his supporters.

“The Academy Awards is on hard times now,” Trump said. “You know why? Because they started taking us on. Everyone got tired of it.”

The president swiped at various other familiar targets, including the Green New Deal, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the World Trade Organization.

At one point, he disputed claims that he’s profited off the presidency by claiming that lawsuits over the Emoluments Clause and other legal fees have cost him a “fortune.”

“I don’t care. You know, if you’re wealthy it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I just want to do a great job.”

Trump has a tendency to go off script at official White House events. Standing behind the official presidential seal, he often ignores the teleprompter in favor of ad-libbed remarks recounting his 2016 victory, predicting his 2020 opponent and admonishing those who doubt him.

Tuesday was no different. Trump was in Pennsylvania to tour a Shell petrochemical facility where natural gas will be turned into plastic.

The president at times made references to energy and manufacturing as promised. He touted his administration’s decision to roll back regulations that prevented plants like the one he visited Tuesday from being built and cited the boom in energy production during his presidency.

But even some of his energy-related remarks were retreads from his campaign-style rhetoric. He jabbed at 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over her comments dismissing the future of coal miners in West Virginia and accused New York state of caring more about suing him than about boosting jobs with fracking.

Trump again mocked the use of wind as an energy source and ripped the progressive Green New Deal and the Democratic presidential candidates who support it.

“I don’t want to speak badly about it. I want to encourage them. That should be their platform, I don’t want to do it too early. I did it very early with Pocahontas. I should’ve probably waited. She’s staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe,” he said, referring derisively to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden, respectively.

“I don’t know who’s going to win,” he continued. “But we’ll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win. But she’s staging a little bit of a comeback. What a group. Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe. I don’t think they give a damn about western Pennsylvania.”

Parts of Trump’s speech were intended to highlight his personal role in boosting economic prospects for some in Pennsylvania, which will serve as a key swing state in the 2020 election as he seeks to retain support in Rust Belt communities that helped propel him to victory four years ago.

The president won the state by roughly 45,000 votes in 2016 and won the county where Tuesday’s speech took place by 18 percentage points.

Even though plans for the Monaca plant were first announced while former President Obama was in office, Trump attempted to broadly take credit for the economic conditions in the state.

[The Hill]

Trump Calls Chris Cuomo an ‘Out-of-Control Animal’ Who Uses ‘Horrible’ Language and ‘Spews Lies’

President Donald Trump weighed in on the viral outrage of the day by calling CNN anchor Chris Cuomo an “out-of-control animal” who also “spews lies every night,” while also seeming to criticize Cuomo for not assaulting the man who taunted him.

During an impromptu press gaggle in New Jersey Tuesday afternoon, Trump was asked about his tweets attacking Cuomo over the aborted bar fight that was caught on video.

“I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible,” Trump told reporters. “His language was horrible, he looked like a total out-of-control animal. He lost it.”

“And frankly, I don’t think anybody should defend him, because he spews lies every night,” Trump continued. According to The Washington Post, Trump recently made the 12,000th false or misleading statement of his presidency.

The president then paraphrased his earlier assertions, saying “I don’t know why anybody would defend him, but, Chris Cuomo was out of control, I watched it I thought it was terrible. So I don’t know who is defending him, maybe they didn’t see it, maybe they haven’t gotten the whole picture, but I think anybody that would have seen Chris, would have said that was a disgrace. You’ve never seen me do that.”

Trump has, in the past, offered to pay the legal fees of rallygoers if they carried out violence on his behalf.

Trump was then asked if his tweets undermine the validity of so-called “red flag” laws.

“Well I think Chris Cuomo was so out of control that I would not have wanted to see a weapon in his hand,” Trump said, then appeared to criticize Cuomo for not punching the man who accosted him, saying “I guess his fist is not a weapon, or he would have done something, you know he talked about it but he didn’t do anything.”

Seconds after observing that Cuomo did not commit violence during the altercation, Trump again insisted “But I think Chris Cuomo was very much out of control actually.”

[Mediaite]

Trump’s Chris Cuomo Jab Appears to Make Light of ‘Red Flag’ Laws

As millions of Americans woke up to the news that Chris Cuomo hadthreatened a guy for calling him “Fredo,” President Trump inserted himself into the most important story of our time with his usual measured perspective:

The tweet appears to be both an attack on Cuomo — the president would never miss the opportunity to go after a CNN anchor — and a joke about “red flag” laws, which grant authorities the power to remove guns from those who have been deemed unstable by their family or law enforcement. (Cuomo’s tough-guy act isn’t exactly the kind of thing the regulation’s architects had in mind.)

In the aftermath of the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last weekend, Trump indicated his support for red-flag laws, which have recently gained traction as a point of rare bipartisan compromise. Since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018, the number of states with such rules on the books has more than tripled from five to 17. If Trump’s endorsement means he’s in favor of a federal red-flag mandate — it’s unclear whether that’s the case — he could conceivably sign one into law after Congress reconvenes in September. That is, if he can pull himself away from Twitter.

[New York Magazine]

Trump Mocks ‘Nuts’ Chris Cuomo as ‘Fredo’ After CNN Host’s Bar Altercation: He’s ‘Totally Lost It!’

President Donald Trump weighed in on “Fredo-gate” Tuesday morning, calling out Chris Cuomo after a video of the CNN anchor getting after it with some heckling jerk at a Shelter Island bar.

A surreptitiously recorded video of Cuomo getting into with an unidentified individual went viral late Monday night, which spawned a lustful debate over Cuomo’s behavior. Was he justified in going after the alleged heckler, particularly because he was with his daughter in a public place? Or did he cross a line in his hyperbolic threats of violence?

Oddly, the bigger online debate has focused Cuomo’s claim that “Fredo” (a term that the heckler referred to Cuomo as) is an ethnic slur akin to calling a person of color the N-word.

Well if it is a slur, President Trump just jumped on the offensive train, as he called Cuomo “Fredo also,” adding “The truth hurts.” Trump tweeted:

The first-born son of President Donald Trump — and Executive Vice President of the Trump Org — also weighed in on “Fredo-gate” when he quote-tweeted Trump campaign advisor Katrina Pierson, to offer his unsolicited opinion on where Fredo stands on the offensive spectrum. Don Jr tweeted:

The ephemeral meaning of words — and this case, fictional characters names — has never been on clearer display here, as Don Jr. is far from the only opinion that matters. Sure, he may have some expertise on what it’s like to either be (or have) a “dumb brother,” but someone with German and Czechoslovakian descent, he may not find the same meaning in “Fredo” as does someone who self-identifies as Italian-American. To wit, the supportive insights provided by fellow Italian-American, Anthony Scaramucci:

[Mediaite]

Trump tore out magazine picture of Justin Trudeau, scrawled odd message and mailed it to Canadian embassy

Donald Trump reportedly tore out a magazine picture of Justin Trudeau, scrawled a brief note about the Canadian prime minister “looking good”, and made White House officials mail it to the neighbouring country’s embassy.

The message – first reported by Axios – is said to have been written by the US president on the torn-out cover of a May 2017 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, which featured an image of Mr Trudeau alongside a caption reading “The Anti-Trump”.

On it, Mr Trump reportedly jotted a note reading something to the effect of, “Looking good! Hope it’s not true!” according to the US news outlet.

The Canadian ambassador considered the note so strange he thought it was a prank, but after calling US officials was told the note was genuine.

Although some White House staff reportedly considered the note inappropriate, the National Security Council ultimately decided it was done in good humour and would be considered by Ottawa to be friendly contact.

Another exchange in December of that year reportedly saw Mr Trump send Mr Trudeau a document purporting to show a US trade deficit with Canada.

Mr Trudeau reportedly responded by including in his letter a printout of a US government website showing America actually has a trade surplus over its neighbour when services are included with goods.

The Canadian prime minister reportedly included a smiley face alongside the document.

Months later, on Dec. 8, 2017, President Trump falsely told a rally crowd in Pensacola, Florida, that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada. Around that same time, Trump also mailed Trudeau a document purporting to show that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, according to a source with direct knowledge.

  • Trump wrote in Sharpie on the document: “Not good!!” or something to that effect, the source recalled. Trump’s document only mentioned America’s deficit in the trade of goods and ignored its surplus in services (the two combined would gave the U.S. its overall surplus).

A few weeks later, Trump received a handwritten letter from Trudeau. The note, on Trudeau’s official stationery marked by the Maple Leaf, began with a friendly tone, but ended with a drop of acid.

  • “Dear Donald,” Trudeau wrote in the letter dated Dec. 20, 2017, according to a source with direct knowledge of its contents, which 2 other sources confirmed. “It’s been a busy year! Enjoy the Christmas holidays — you deserve it.”
  • “One thing,” Trudeau added. “You gave a great speech in Pensacola, but you were slightly off on the balance of trade with Canada. USTR says so! All the best for 2018, Justin.”

The second page of the letter brought the kicker. Trudeau enclosed a printout of Canada’s informational page from the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

  • Trudeau underlined the section on the USTR website, which at the time reported that “the U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.” Trudeau circled the $12.5 billion and drew a cheeky little smiley face next to it, according to a source with direct knowledge.

A Canadian government official responded to this reporting: “We’re not going to comment on whether or what paper was exchanged between our 2 countries. There was a lot of back and forth. That said, it is certainly true that there were disagreements between our 2 countries about the figures, and we repeatedly pointed to USTR and U.S. Commerce’s own figures. On your second point (the Bloomberg cover), no comment, but we don’t deny it.”

Why this matters: The U.S.-Canadian relationship is, in normal times, low-friction. But not under Trump, who views Trudeau as an irritant at best. In a conversation in the White House last year, Trump told aides he thought Canada was “the worst” country to negotiate with. “Who would think? Canada?” Trump said.

  • Trump now says very little about Trudeau, according to an adviser, and believes he and his trade representative Bob Lighthizer got the better of the Canadians in their trade negotiations.

Behind the scenes: Trump privately refers to Trudeau as a “wise guy,” per sources with direct knowledge. He describes Trudeau as young and cocky, and he resents it when Trudeau comments on American politics.

  • Trump has gleefully recounted to aides how he threatened the Canadians with auto tariffs. He says it got him a better deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
  • Trump has also privately described Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland as “very nasty,” according to senior administration officials.
  • Trump was pleased with the optics of the G7 last year, an adviser said. Trump says he dominated Trudeau there, the adviser added, and loves the viral photo of himself sitting with his arms crossed as world leaders hover over him. Trump also relished leaving the summit early — snub to Trudeau, who Trump said had treated him with disrespect.
  • The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

The big picture: The president is in Year 3 of his relationships with foreign leaders, and in some cases they’ve changed substantially. Trump’s bromance with France’s 41-year-old leader Emmanuel Macron has faded, and Trump privately places Macron in a similar “wise guy” category as the 47-year-old Trudeau.

  • Last week, Trump chided Macron on Twitter for “purporting” to represent the U.S. in conversations with Iran.
  • Trump has also hammered China with escalating tariffs and increasingly tough rhetoric — a significant change from his more frequent emphasis on his close personal relationship with President Xi Jinping in Year 1.

[Yahoo News ,Axios]

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