Economy

An Order to Withdraw From NAFTA Was Stolen From Trump’s Desk

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Bob Woodward has provided receipts to prove his claim that members of Trump's staff and cabinet have swiped documents from Trump's desk to prevent him from seeing or signing them.

Trump denies that it ever happened, but we've seen the draft order to withdraw from our trade agreement with South Korea which Trump's former economic adviser Gary Cohn stole off the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

According to the Washington Post, which has seen an advance copy of Woodward's book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," Woodward writes that Cohn also swiped a draft order to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Woodward also reports that Cohn took another memo off Trump’s desk that, had the president signed it, would have initiated the process for the United States to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

But Trump denied Woodward’s reporting, calling it a “phony story.”

“Gary Cohn, if he ever took a memo off my desk, I would have fired him in two seconds,” Trump said. “He would have been fired so fast. He would have been fired within the first second that it took place.”

Trump obviously didn't fire Cohn "within the first second" because Cohn resigned on his own accord months after he reportedly swiped these orders from Trump's desk.

Now, it doesn't appear that Trump forgot about withdrawing from NAFTA because he still threatens to do so every other week, but it's plausible to me that he would have withdrawn last year if Cohn had not destroyed the order to begin the process.

It's possible that stealing the order from Trump's desk delayed his whims long enough for him to move on from his momentary obsession with withdrawing or at least long enough for congressional Republicans to convince him not to.

We know that Trump becomes obsessed with certain issues and topics and only moves on when another issue draws his attention. Anonymous White House staffers have said so in interview after interview for nearly two years.

  • muselet

    I don’t know which is scarier: that Gary Cohn removed a draft memo to scupper NAFTA or that such a memo existed in the first place.

    Also, Donald Trump’s pattern of denying multiple times that things which happened actually, you know, happened remains intact. I believe that, in poker circles, is called a “tell.”

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong
  • And that’s why he’s a perpetual toddler. He can only keep some idea in his head for so long. Thank the gods!