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  • Economy

President Trump on Friday morning brushed off concerns about the effect of his plans for steep new tariffs, tweeting that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

His administration must “protect our country and our workers,” Trump said in apparent defense of his plans for a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminum, which he announced to his staff’s surprise on Thursday. Global financial markets fell significantly in response, and analysts attributed that to fears of a trade war between the United States and China. 

Trump seemed to single out China without naming it: When “a certain country” gets “cute,” he wrote, “don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

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Roberta Jacobson
Roberta Jacobson (Associated Press)

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico and one of the State Department’s most experienced Latin America hands, said Thursday that she is quitting even as U.S. relations with Mexico appear to have nose dived.

Jacobson, who spent 31 years as a diplomat, becomes the latest veteran foreign service officer to step down in what has become an unusual exodus of departing senior talent under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Joseph Yun, special representative on North Korea, resigned earlier this week, and John Feeley, the U.S. ambassador to Panama, announced his decision to leave in January. Feeley said he could no longer advocate for U.S. policy in the Trump administration.

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President Trump on Wednesday threatened to delay building border barriers in California until his long-promised wall goes up elsewhere, seemingly slinging another arrow in his running battle with the nation’s most populous state.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump near the casket of Billy Graham.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump near the casket of Billy Graham. (Aaron P. Bernstein / Associated Press)

A casket bearing the body of Billy Graham lay in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, but it signaled more than the death of a religious leader who had befriended and counseled presidents for decades.

It also marked two historic passages: the political activism by white evangelicals that has redefined the Republican Party, and the threat to that power as their numbers ebb in a changing America.

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For a party halfway in the grave, the news thudded like another shovelful of dirt — thwack! — heaved atop its coffin: The Republican Party may soon slip into third place among registered California voters, trailing Democrats and self-declared independents.

Take the guns first, go through due process second.

In a contentious White House meeting about guns Wednesday, President Trump suggested law enforcement officials should be able to confiscate people’s firearms without a court order to prevent potential tragedies. 

Trump also told lawmakers to send him “one terrific bill” on gun safety, including stronger background checks and restrictions based on one’s age and mental health.

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U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. (Toya Sarno Jordan / Getty Images)

President Trump has added “disgraceful” to the list of insults he’s thrown at his own attorney general. But this time, Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top lawman, is pushing back.

Trump, who has shredded long-standing norms by repeatedly attacking his own FBI and Justice Department, on Wednesday tweeted his unhappiness that Sessions had referred charges raised in a memo by House Intelligence Committee Republicans to the Justice Department’s inspector general.

“Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc.” the president complained, referring to an ongoing review of former FBI Director James Comey’s actions during the 2016 election.