本帖由 ccc 于 2017-08-02 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
ONLY PERFECTION IS DONALD J. TRUMP, no someone else. PERIOD.
Top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a Wall Street banker who opposes hefty steel and aluminum tariffs planned by U.S. President Donald Trump, announced on Tuesday that he was resigning.
"It has been an honour to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform. I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future," Cohn said in a statement issued by the White House.
His departure as director of the National Economic Council came after a little more than a year on the job.
Following the news of Cohn's departure, the U.S. dollar weakened, while an exchange-traded fund tracking the broad market S&P 500 dipped one per cent.
Trump's announcement last week of his plans to impose the tariffs sent U.S. stock prices tumbling and came after an intense debate within the White House between Cohn and other advocates of free trade, on one side, and protectionist advisers such as Peter Navarro on the other, White House sources said.
Cohn, a former president and chief operating officer of investment bank Goldman Sachs, was seen as a bulwark within the White House against protectionist policies. Business lobbyists frequently cited Cohn as their strongest ally in the White House.
"Gary Cohn is one of the true Wall Street all stars behind the Trump tax plan. He will be missed. We thought he might switch mid-term and become the treasury secretary. He is that good," said Andrew Brenner, the head of international fixed income at NatAlliance Securities LLC.
The White House statement said Cohn's departure date is to be determined but will take effect in a few weeks.
Can the United States be trusted anymore?
When we hear about President Donald Trump's latest overnight tweets on trade, the first reaction of most Canadians is to think about how it's going to affect us.
Evidently having a trade war with our biggest trade partner would not be a good thing for the Canadian economy.
But there is growing evidence the greatest victim of Trump's erratic and seemingly never-ending demands over trade will be the reputation of the United States.
A real danger
"The danger's real and it's not just the rhetoric of the tweets," said Peter Warrian of the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, where he is billed as "Canada's leading academic expert on the steel industry."
He says if Trump's 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum are imposed as an executive order they could have an impact within a week, with truckloads of Canadian steel held at the border until the U.S. government receives a cash payment to cover the tariff.
Even if the decision is eventually overturned, the disruption to two of North America's key industries, steel and automobiles, would be costly.
And once again, countries around the world who thought of themselves as friends and allies of the U.S. are considering how they will fight back.
A bottle of Bulleit Kentucky bourbon at the Spirit de Milan cafe in Milan, Italy. Europe says the whiskey will be a target of retaliation if Trump goes ahead with his tariff plans. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)
"If someone sticks it to you on aluminum and steel, if you're going to retaliate, you're not restricted to those sectors," Warrian said.
Clearly, if cooler heads prevail, things could stop short of a trade war. What you might call trade sabre-rattling is not uncommon as countries threatened with tariffs draw up lists of the imports they will tax in response.
Europe has already included Kentucky bourbon, Levi's jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles — goods they expect will have a concentrated impact on jobs in areas that vote Republican.
Tit-for-tat threats of that kind have happened many times in the past. The special thing this time around is the destruction of trust among countries that have long been close trade allies with the U.S.
Polling by Pew Research at the end of last year showed the U.S.'s global reputation was already sagging under Trump's leadership.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has implied the mood has not changed following Trump's latest threat.
"So now we will also impose import tariffs. This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this," he told German media. "But we have to do it."
And while it might be possible to write off Trump as the whacky guy who will say almost anything — to divert attention from some other scandal or to raise a cheer among hard-line supporters — the things he is saying fly in the face of decades of accepted Republican positions on trade.
"Trade wars are good, and easy to win," as Trump tweeted at 6 a.m. on Friday, contradicts not only roughly 80 years of U.S. government policy, but virtually all economic trade analysis.
Not only that, Trump's comments also fly in the face of facts as outlined by the U.S. government's own trade officials.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is no fan of Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
But over the weekend, most of Trump's fellow Republicans failed to repudiate his comments spewing out one after the other on Twitter — ideas and rhetoric they know are ill-advised.
Whether accidental or intentional, misunderstanding how international trade works is no way for a country to maintain the trust of its allies.
"The Trump trade team continues to focus on the trade balance, but that focus is misplaced," economist Christine McDaniel of George Mason University's Mercatus Center said in an email.
She says the trade deficit is often larger when the economy is growing, and that in the past, trade surpluses have not correlated with job creation. She also points out the U.S. economy has created tens of millions of jobs since NAFTA came into force.
Waking up to risk
There are signs Republicans are beginning to wake up to the danger of Trump's pronouncements, if only to prevent U.S. stock markets from crashing.
Yesterday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called on Trump to drop plans for the new tariffs.
"We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan," Ryan spokesperson AshLee Strong said. "The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains."
The head of the United Steelworkers, Leo Gerard, who happens to be Canadian, reminded Trump that Canadian aluminum is a strategic good for U.S. military procurement.
"The president, I don't think, was made aware of that," Gerard told CBC.
There seems to be so much the president has not been made aware of, including the idea that introducing steel tariffs as a new threat after seven rounds of intense NAFTA bargaining is no way to increase trust with people who, until recently, were America's closest trade allies and supporters.
In the short term, most experts say Trump's disruptive trade statements will hurt markets, and if he manages to see them through, the U.S. economy.
But in the longer term, it is the credibility of the United States as a country that keeps its word, knows the facts, plays fair and seeks trade for mutual benefit that may be damaged the most.
It used to be that the U.S. set a standard.
After the latest trade spat settles down, a U.S. establishment that has been willing to meekly follow such leadership could end up being a few notches lower in everyone's esteem. And in international trade, that counts.
Washington (CNN) A new lawsuit filed by the porn star known as Stormy Daniels claims President Donald Trump never signed a hush agreement regarding an alleged sexual encounter between the two and therefore the agreement is void.
According to the legal complaint filed in California state court and tweeted out by her lawyer on Tuesday, Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, signed the document on behalf of the President instead.
The porn star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims in the lawsuit to have had an affair with Trump several years prior to his presidency. However, the lawsuit claims that when he was running for office and multiple women were coming forward to share stories of their own alleged encounters with the then-Republican presidential candidate, Cohen intervened in an attempt to keep Clifford from coming forward as well.
"Despite Mr. Trump's failure to sign the Hush Agreement, Mr. Cohen proceeded to cause $130,000.00 to be wired to the trust account of Ms. Clifford's attorney. He did so even though there was no legal agreement and thus no written nondisclosure agreement whereby Ms. Clifford was restricted from disclosing the truth about Mr. Trump," the document states.
The lawsuit says Cohen has continued his attempts at silencing Clifford -- including as recently as February 27, 2018.
"To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and 'shut her up' in order to 'protect Mr. Trump' continue unabated," the lawsuit states. "For example, only days ago on or about February 27, 2018, Mr. Trump's attorney Mr. Cohen surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford in Los Angeles. Remarkably, he did so without even providing Ms. Clifford with notice of the proceeding and basic due process."
NBC News first reported on Clifford's complaint against Trump.
Just weeks before the 2016 election, Cohen reportedly created a private LLC to pay off Clifford, The Wall Street Journal reported in January.
Last month, Cohen admitted to making a payment to Clifford, writing in a statement: "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."
The lawsuit says Cohen's February statement was issued "without any consent by Ms. Clifford, thus evidencing Mr. Cohen's apparent position (at least in that context) that no binding agreement was in place."
Following initial reports that Cohen had made the payment, he said in a statement that Trump "vehemently denies" any encounter between the two.
Stormy Daniels 想出书，还是拍纪录片？
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said...
2018-03-07 09:49:22 来源： 新华网
What happened in Trump's White House on the day he said there was 'no chaos'
By Maegan Vazquez, CNN
Updated 9:54 AM ET, Wed March 7, 2018
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that there's "no chaos" in his White House.
"People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!"
That tweet, however, was just the curtain raiser for a certifiably chaotic day in Trump's presidency: a top aide was found to be in violation of a major ethics law, his top economic adviser quit, he was sued by a porn star and his administration sued a state in a widening fight over immigration. CNN also reported that Trump appears to be sowing discord within his current ranks.
"I like conflict. I like having two people with two points of view," Trump said when asked about the internal strife during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. "I like watching it, I like seeing it."
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump is upset with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders over her responses Wednesday regarding his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, a source close to the White House tells CNN.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, filed suit against Trump this week alleging he hadn't signed a nondisclosure agreement that would have prevented her from discussing their alleged sexual affair.
On Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that the arbitration was won "in the President's favor." The statement is an admission that the nondisclosure agreement exists, and that it directly involves the President. It is the first time the White House has admitted the President was involved in any way with Daniels.
"POTUS is very unhappy," the source said. "Sarah gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday."
This week's developments are the latest installment in a continuing controversy for the White House involving Daniels, and a distraction from Trump's attempted rollout of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Just weeks before the 2016 election,Trump's legal counsel Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 of his own money, which he admitted to in February. Cohen has said the President "vehemently denies" any sexual encounter between the two.
Washington (CNN) Stormy Daniels is playing Donald Trump at his own game.
The adult movie star, who claims she had an affair with Trump and was paid $130,000 to stay quiet before the election by the President's lawyer, has drawn the White House into a politically damaging sexual melodrama.
Daniels turned her case from a side show muffled by multiple controversies battering the administration into a West Wing headache using methods that Trump, the high priest of self publicity, would recognize.
Building buzz with the garish theatrics of a reality show protagonist and offering suggestive interviews that hinted at hidden bombshells, Daniels then weaponized the courts to target a foe who has no desire to fight.
That's how White House press secretary Sarah Sanders found herself sparring Wednesday with reporters demanding to know if her boss was trying to silence the porn star after an alleged liaison a decade ago.
Her answers only prolonged the drama and exacerbated its political toll. Trump was furious with Sanders over her responses on Wednesday, a source close to the White House told CNN's Jim Acosta.
"Sarah gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday," the source said.
Among the questions left hanging on Thursday morning: Did Trump's team try to stop a damaging scandal emerge just before the 2016 election? Did Trump know about the payment himself? Is the President still involved in what Daniels' lawyer says is an ongoing attempt to intimidate her?
If the mess isn't cleared up soon, it could ding Trump's already compromised image ahead of midterm elections that are crucial to his political fate.
There is so far no evidence of wrongdoing by the President and he has denied the alleged affair.
But as details emerge of a covert litigation battle between Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen and Daniels' representatives, Trump, already fuming at a special counsel probe, could find himself in yet more legal peril.
New lines of inquiry
Uncharacteristically, Sanders did not simply deflect questions about the case to one of Trump's lawyers Wednesday, a skill she's largely perfected.
Instead, she inadvertently opened new lines of inquiry by startling journalists by offering fresh information.
"This case has already been won in arbitration," she said, before belatedly directing further questions to "outside counsel."
Her explanation was more unequivocal than the facts suggest.
The breakthrough that Cohen's own lawyer secured on his behalf was merely a temporary restraining order against Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, rather than a conclusive victory.
When Sanders was asked whether the President knew about the payment to Daniels before the election, she replied "not that I am aware of," a statement that fell well short of a full denial and only raised more questions.
She also maintained that the "American people were aware of this, voted for the President."
That was not true since although voters did know about Trump's alleged affairs and allegations of harassment against him, the story about Daniels only broke in January when it was reported in The Wall Street Journal.
The upshot of the briefing -- more ammunition to keep the story churning.
While Sanders undeniably had a distasteful duty, two sources close to the White House told CNN's Jim Acosta that they were surprised how Sanders handled the issue.
"It was sloppy," one said. The other source pointed out, "they acknowledged something people didn't notice in paperwork yesterday."
In effect, Sanders broke the news that Cohen last week won an order from an arbitrator to temporarily stop Daniels talking about the alleged affair.
Cohen who told the Journal in January that he had "facilitated" the payment, argued that Daniels had breached the non-disclosure agreement she signed weeks before the 2016 election.
But in a suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles, Daniels contended the contract was invalid because it was never signed by Trump.
The Daniels lawsuit also contends that Cohen initiated a "bogus arbitration" hearing against her without notifying her beforehand.
A copy of the restraining order against Daniels obtained by CNN confirms that the judge made a "one-party" ruling that did not require her to be notified -- raising questions about the tactics used by Cohen, if not their legality.
Wherever the truth lies in this legal imbroglio, the fact that it is being talked about at all spells bad news for the White House.
Beyond the embarrassment for Trump, and potentially his wife Melania, it also will force Republican lawmakers to answer questions on the issue at a time when their relationship with the President is under fresh strain.
A slippery legal and political slope
The longer the episode lingers, the most likely it will become an issue for Trump and the GOP in the midterms.
While Trump's legendary base is always unmoved by his scandals, he is potentially vulnerable among independent voters and more traditional Republicans who voted for him in 2016.
The case will worry Republican strategists, who have watched the President's fortunes tumble among a key sector of the electorate -- women.
Trump carried white women voters over Hillary Clinton by nine points in 2016, but trails potential 2020 Democratic re-election foes by double figures among the same demographic, according to a recent CNN/SSRS poll.
Trump won 61% of white women without a college degree in 2016, according to exit polls; but his approval rating among them dipped to 48% in the full year 2017 average of Gallup polling. Among college-educated white women, he fell from 44% in 2016 to an ominous 32% average approval rating last year, according to CNN political columnist Ronald Brownstein.
Female voters are tipped for a key role in suburban districts that could swing the House to Democrats in November.
And politics may not be Trump's only concern.
Down the road, any effort to compel Trump's testimony in the case could open new peril for a President who shades the truth and is causing his lawyers sleepless nights about his desire to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller.
After all, lying under oath in a case that originated from an extramarital relationship is what got President Bill Clinton impeached.
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump met with a lawyer who represented then-President Bill Clinton during the impeachment process and is talking with him about a role at the White House, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The Times, citing four people familiar with the matter, said Trump met with lawyer Emmet T. Flood in the Oval Office about joining the team as Trump and his allies continue to deal with the special counsel investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Two of the sources told the paper that no final decision had been made, and the Times said Flood joining the team would not replace White House lawyer Ty Cobb.
The apparent signal that Trump is preparing for the investigation to continue through the immediate future comes as Mueller's investigation has produced multiple indictments and as the President has seen the departure of key White House personnel.
The Times' report said Cobb has told friends he does not expect to remain in his job for much longer.
Flood's corporate profile outlines his experience in several high-profile legal fights, including the Clinton impeachment process and former Vice President Dick Cheney in a civil suit from former CIA officer Valerie Plame.