This is a rare account 👀 of President Trump 👨🏼 in a small Oval Office meeting, venting 😡 at senior staff for sometimes resisting his hawkish trade agenda.
During Gen. Kelly's first week as Chief of Staff. Kelly convened a meeting 🔊 to discuss the administration's plans to investigate 🔍 China 🇨🇳 for stealing American intellectual property and technology 💻. Kelly stood beside Trump, behind the Resolute desk. In front of the desk were U.S. 🇺🇸 Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, senior trade adviser Peter Navarro, top economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Trump 👨🏼, addressing Kelly, said, "John, you haven't been in a trade discussion before, so I want to share with you my views. For the last six months, this same group of geniuses comes in here all the time and I tell them, 'Tariffs. I want tariffs.' And what do they do? They bring me IP. I can't put a tariff on IP." (Most in the room understood that the president can, in fact, use tariffs to combat Chinese IP theft.)
"China is laughing at us," Trump added. "Laughing."
Kelly responded: "Yes sir, I understand, you want tariffs."
Gary Cohn, who opposes tariffs and the protectionist 😔 trade measures pushed by the Bannonites, had his shoulders slumped and was clearly appalled 😱 by the situation.
Staff secretary Rob Porter, who is a key mediator 💪🏻 in such meetings, said to the president: "Sir, do you not want to sign this?" He was referring to Trump's 👨🏼 memo prodding Lighthizer to investigate China 🇨🇳 — which may lead to tariffs against Beijing.
Trump replied: "No, I'll sign it, but it's not what I've asked for the last six months." He turned to Kelly: "So, John, I want you to know, this is my view. I want tariffs. And I want someone to bring me some tariffs."
Kelly replied: "Yes sir, understood sir, I have it."😄
To read full article on Axios - http://v.duta.us/gepx3gAA