New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart join Amna Nawaz to discuss the week’s political news, including whether there will be real momentum in Congress to enact stronger gun legislation, how President Trump conducted himself visiting shooting victims in El Paso and Dayton and what white supremacy means for our American national identity.
A LOOK AT TRUMP’S ‘CRISIS’ MANAGEMENT
By Alexandra D’Elia, @Alex_DElia11
Politics production assistant
President Donald Trump uses many negotiating strategies. But some of them follow a similar pattern:
- creating leverage with a threat;
- using the threat to escalate tension or create a crisis;
- backing down from the threat; and then
- claiming victory when the crisis is averted.
Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico unless the country reached a deal with the U.S on immigration is just the latest example. Let’s take a look at some other instances.
Mexico tariff threat: Trump announced May 30 that he would impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods coming into the U.S., and increase the tariff percentage over the summer until the country took action to reduce the rise in migrants trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border. Economists, Democrats and some Republicans warned that the threats would cause economic harm to both nations. But Trump announced in a tweet Friday night that the U.S. reached a signed agreement with Mexico and the tariffs were “hereby indefinitely suspended.” The joint declaration says that Mexico agreed to deploy its National Guard to address the crisis, though officials say that agreement was already made in March.
U.S.-Mexico border shutdown: In another effort to curb illegal migration from Mexico, Trump announced on March 29 that he would shut down America’s southern border to Mexico the following week unless Mexican authorities took action. Trump then said in Florida that there was a “very good likelihood” that he would close the border, “and that is just fine with me.” Economists warnedthat a border shutdown would be economically crippling. Less than a week later, on April 4, the president said that he would give Mexico a “one-year warning” before closing the border. He then warned of imposing auto tariffs on Mexican goods instead, which he did two months later.
Negotiations with North Korea: Following North Korea’s weapons tests in 2017, Trump told the U.N. General Assembly the U.S. would have “no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” if the country attacked. He called Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man” and said that he was “on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” The rhetoric sparked fears of a possible armed conflict between the two countries. Kim responded that Trump would “pay dearly” for his threats. Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June of 2018, where Trump said he would halt “very provocative” U.S.-South Korea military exercises and touted his relationship with Kim. Trump claimed the summit as a major foreign policy victory. A year of verbal tiffs followed, along with a failed second summitin February in Hanoi, Vietnam. Trump said today that he had a very good relationship with North Korea, and pointed to a “very warm” letter he received yesterday from Kim.
Pulling out of NATO: The president said in July of 2018 at a NATO summit in Brussels that he would be “unhappy” if other countries did not “up their commitments” to the alliance, but that “everyone has agreed to”do so. Some foreign leaders disputed Trump’s claim. In January of this year, The New York Times reported that Trump suggested several times last year that the U.S. withdraw from the alliance, which America has been a member of for 70 years. Trump’s criticism of NATO as a candidate and president has worried allies who argue the U.S. should maintain its ties to NATO and other international alliances.
General Motors subsidies cut: In May of 2018, Trump threatened to cut all federal subsidies to General Motors after the organization announced that it would close its plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!” Trump tweeted at the time. General Motors shares fell 3.5 percent. Trump never cut subsidies to the auto giant. Last month, Trump claimed victory when General Motors announced that it would sell its Lordstown, Ohio, plant to an electric truck manufacturer. Trump tweeted: “With all the car companies coming back, and much more, THE USA IS BOOMING!”
President Trump reportedly ordered the dismissal of special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but backed down after White House counsel Don McGahn said he would quit rather than carry out the order, according to The New York Times and others. In Davos, the president dismissed the report as “fake news.” John Yang reports and Judy Woodruff talks to Jack Goldsmith of Harvard Law School.