According to an Axios report Trump continually talked about taking care of his base during a Tariff Meeting.
Cohn and Porter argued on one side, and Navarro and Ross fought on the other. (This was an adhoc meeting so the other senior officials who are against Navarro and Ross — James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, and Steven Mnuchin — were not in the room.)
Cohn tried to argue that these tariffs would ruin Trump’s record-setting stock market streak and wipe away benefits of tax reform. But Trump kept saying Cohn was a “globalist” while he himself was an economic nationalist.
- After making his points, Cohn said there was no point continuing the argument given he’d laid out the facts. He moved to the couches and asked Ross and Navarro: “Where are your facts?”
- Cohn later told associates he believed Navarro and Ross were lying to the president. Asked about this, a Commerce spokesman retorted: “The facts that form the basis for this decision are laid out in the two 232 reports that Secretary Ross submitted to the President. No one has refuted the facts in those reports.” (Cohn and others told associates that Ross didn’t properly analyze the negative downstream impacts of the steel tariffs.)
Here is where he talks about his base.
Trump sat and watched the fight. He occasionally interjected, saying things like “I need to take care of my base,” “You can’t have a country without steel,” and “Peter, what do you say to that argument?” By the end, Trump told Porter he didn’t realize he was such a “globalist.”
In the end, Trump decided he needed more information about the economic effects of aluminum and steel tariffs, which wouldn’t be ready for a while. So the White House would focus on tariffs targeted at China.
This is a part of this report that almost no media outlets are covering. The fact that Trump continually talked about the importance of doing what was right for the American people shatters all of the narratives portrayed by the media. It is clear that Trump is sifting through the swamps agenda in Washington and implementing one that is America first.