Trump just took time out of his UK trip to get in a pissing contest with Schumer and Mexico

Even as Senate Republicans rebel against his economically disastrous plan to impose five percent of additional tariffs each month on Mexico until they manage to stem the flow of Central American refugees across the U.S. southern border, President Trump continues to double down on his threat against one of the country’s largest and most interlinked trading partners.

Trump took to Twitter to ridicule Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for having the audacity to publicly call out Trump’s bombastic, ante-upping desperate negotiating tactic for the empty-handed bluff that it truly is.

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Trump’s insults towards the most powerful opposition leader in the Senate demonstrate that his ignorance of trade policy and of the effects of tariffs on the prices consumers must pay for crucial everyday goods and groceries are matched only by his contemptuous lack of taste and manners as he attacks his adversaries with lies, bluster, and defamation.

The president’s attack on Senator Schumer comes after the Democratic leader made a speech on the Senate floor that raised doubts about the seriousness of Trump’s hard-line approach towards Mexico and his belief that it’s the country’s responsibility to help the U.S. prevent refugees from reaching the border.

“Frankly, I don’t believe that President Trump will actually go through with the tariffs,” Schumer frankly told his Senate colleagues. “President Trump has a habit of talking tough and then retreating, because his policies often can’t be implemented or don’t make sense … so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if President Trump doesn’t follow through on these tariffs, either.”

Senator Schumer has the benefit of having heard the reactions of the Republican senators after they received a briefing from the deputy White House counsel and an assistant attorney general on the legal basis they invented for imposing new tariffs by declaring a national emergency at the southern border.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) summed up the GOP senators reactions by telling the administration’s legal representatives that their idea of imposing tariffs on Mexico was dead on arrival. Telling them that he wanted them to “take a message back” to Trump, Cruz cautioned that “you didn’t hear a single yes” from the Republican senators in the meeting and that he himself considered the tariff plan as a $30 billion tax hike for Texans.

With bi-partisan opposition to the tariffs from Congress and major economists warning that the move could trigger inflation and a major recession — completely nullifying any benefit that trickled down from the GOP tax giveaway to billionaires to the middle class — Trump continued to talk tough.

In addition to his offensive tweet to Senator Schumer, he addressed the brewing Republican rebellion in remarks to reporters in London while on his state visit.

“I don’t think they will do that. I think if they do, it’s foolish,” Trump said during a press conference.

Holding the threat of political retribution over the heads of any Republican considering defying his will, Trump pointed to his popularity among his base, implying that he would work against any GOP senator who voted against him.

With Trump’s self-determined deadline for applying the tariffs rapidly approaching, we’ll find out who’s bluffing and who has a real winning hand soon enough.

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Original reporting by Chris Sommerfelt at the New York Daily News and by Catie Edmondson and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that Trump would increase tariffs on Mexico weekly. He has actually threatened to raise them monthly, not weekly.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.


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