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Donald Trump Jacob Heilbrunn Politics US Politics

Is Trump going supernova?

Tariffs and turncoat lawyers could soon dwarf the President’s other problems.

July 25, 2018

11:56 AM

25 July 2018

11:56 AM

Uh-oh. It appears that Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed last night by someone wielding a pickaxe. Could this act of wanton vandalism be a sign that Trump’s star is truly starting to wane?  Or was it a false flag operation to arouse sympathy for Trump?

Trump is under attack on multiple fronts but it may be where he feels most comfortable. This morning Trump expressed his indignation at his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s taping of the duo discussing in September 2016—a few months before the presidential election—how to handle the ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal who has stated that she and Trump had an intense relationship about a decade ago. “I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen indicated to Trump. David would be the aptly named David Pecker, the chairman and CEO of American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer and suppressed stories about Trump’s former inamoratas.

For his part, Trump said it was “So sad!” that Cohen had seen fit to tape their skullduggery but if anything speaks for Cohen, it’s that he, like former FBI director James Comey, who made copious notes of his conversations with Trump, was savvy enough to anticipate he might need to record his conversations with his boss. Certainly Cohen had better instincts for self-preservation than Trump realised. Another thing that induced melancholy in Trump was the decision of the Federal Communications Commission to block the Sinclair-Tribune merger. “So sad and unfair,” he tweeted. “This would have been a great and much needed Conservative voice for and of the People.” Maybe Trump can buck up his spirits by following through on his threats to target Amazon with antitrust suits.

But Trump may have weightier matters on his mind. Trump is also indicating that he’s going to go full steam ahead on another battlefront—tariffs. Forget the rise of the Democratic Socialists of America. Trump is doing it on his own. After Republican lawmakers told him a month ago that farmers want markets, not handouts, Trump, according to Senator Jerry Moran, responded, “I’m surprised, I’ve never heard of anybody who didn’t want a payment from government.”

The result is that he’s doling out $12 billion from a New Deal era program to bailout farmers who are being targeted by China and Europe in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs. Republican Senators like Rand Paul are complaining about Trump’s economic heresies: “If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers. The answer is remove the tariffs.” But this morning Trump declared on twitter, “Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?” It’s the very question that more than a few people are asking about Trump himself.


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