Child President

Officials Say Trump Started a Trade War On a Whim

Written by SK Ashby

I think we already knew this, but we now have a more complete picture of Trump's unilateral actions.

Trump's announcement that he would impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum were such a surprise he didn't even have prepared remarks reviewed by his staff for the occasion. Officials say he made the announcement with no input from other federal departments because he was angry about recent developments in the news.

On Wednesday evening, the president became "unglued," in the words of one official familiar with the president's state of mind.

A trifecta of events had set him off in a way that two officials said they had not seen before: Hope Hicks' testimony to lawmakers investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election, conduct by his embattled attorney general and the treatment of his son-in-law by his chief of staff.

Trump, the two officials said, was angry and gunning for a fight, and he chose a trade war, spurred on by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the White House director for trade. [...]

By midnight Wednesday, less than 12 hours before the executives were expected to arrive, no one on the president's team had prepared any position paper for an announcement on tariff policy, the official said. In fact, according to the official, the White House counsel's office had advised that they were as much as two weeks away from being able to complete a legal review on steel tariffs.

Officials who spoke to NBC News say Trump didn't even know who the executives invited to his announcement were. The executives were invited by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and a list of them wasn't even provided to the White House for background checks.

Officials also say no one at the State or Defense departments or the U.S. Treasury were informed of Trump's announcement or given a chance to object to it. The fact that the Department of Defense was not consulted is especially revealing because Trump's is using national security to justify his actions.

The market dropped by 500 points after Trump's announcement and that made him angry all over again according to NBC's sources who say he became "furious" in the Oval Office.

We don't really have a functioning executive branch of government or president. We have a collection of deranged plutocrats and cronies pursuing their own interests in a game of musical chairs and I don't know what's going to happen when the music stops.

Today it's a trade war. What if it's a literal war next time? What if he orders military action because he became angry while watching TV? What will he do if Jared or Ivanka are indicted?