Hello and welcome to the Top 5 by Sam Jenkins. The Top 5 consists of the top five things happening right now in politics. Be sure to click that like button, leave a comment, or let me know if I’m #FakeNews. Thank you for reading!
1 Big Thing: Trump and the EU
Image Credit: [__Fuhumedia/Flickr__](https://www.flickr.com/photos/fuhumedia/42664387334/)
On Wednesday, President Trump met with the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss U.S.-E.U. trade relations. They agreed to some general trade terms and to keep discussions open, which lessens the threat of a trade war between the two sides.
- The two leaders agreed on a joint statement to "work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods."
- So, Trump’s proposed tariffs on European cars will not likely go into effect in the short term. However, the US steel and aluminum tariffs will continue.
- Additionally, the E.U., after approval from its member states, will buy more liquefied natural gas and soybeans from the U.S.
- Critics of the deal claim these transactions were already going to happen.
- Finally, they both agreed to try to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) but no details emerged.
- This agreement on the WTO followed a tense week where Trump criticized other international organizations like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced they would pay U.S. farmers’ 12 billion dollars to relieve them from the consequences of the U.S. trade wars. However, many people questioned the implications of this plan.
- In short, the plan outlines how certain farmers will be compensated for their harvests this year. The government will also pay for their surplus products too.
- Although, while the government offered 12 billion dollars to the U.S. farmers, one estimate suggested that U.S. farmers have already lost 13 billion dollars.
- Many people, including Republicans, are questioning this bailout: 1) Will the trade wars continue? 2) Will the government bailout other sectors of the economy that are also being hurt by the tariffs like manufacturing? and 3) What’s the long-term solution?
On Sunday night, President Trump tweeted to the Iranian regime, “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” This tweet seemed to be in response to Iranian President Rouhani’s earlier threat directed at the U.S., which warned them not to intervene with Iran’s domestic politics.
- Since Trump left the Iran Deal, the administration has revamped sanctions, including sanctions on Iranian exports of oil. These sanctions have hurt Iran’s already suffering economy more, which has led to domestic unrest.
- Each side blames the other for the aggression. On one hand, Pompeo has called the Iranian leaders “hypocritical holy leaders.” On the other hand, an Iranian general responded to Trump’s threats stating, “You will start this war but we will be the ones to impose its end.”
Putin Comes to Washington
On Wednesday, the National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not come to visit the White House this year. Instead, the White House will wait “until the Russia witch hunt is over.”
- Trump originally ordered Bolton to extend an invitation to Putin following their controversial summit in Helsinki. Although, Russia did not immediately accept the invitation as they offered to meet on the sidelines at various international gatherings instead.
- In other news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where he explained that he warned Russia not to interfere with the 2018 U.S. Midterm elections. Likewise, he defended the Trump administration’s tough policies towards Russia.
The relationship between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump is a lot of things. It’s kind of weird with their awkward and distant public interactions. It’s also important as Cohen played an integral part in Trump’s personal and business life. Moreover, this week their story took another twist with the release of a recorded conversation between Cohen and Trump.
However, another interesting, but little discussed, detail surfaced this week: Cohen recently hired Lanny Davis, a lawyer and public relations specialist, who helped Bill Clinton navigate through his various scandals. While the hire is quite ironic, Davis will play a key role moving forward in Cohen’s weird but important relationship with Trump and the truth.