Trump Threatens 20% Tariff on European Cars

President Trump “threatened to unilaterally impose a 20 percent tariff on all automobile imports from Europe, further breaking from Republicans in Congress and front-running an investigation he had ordered from the Commerce Department into whether these imports harm the U.S.’s national security,” the Washington Post reports.

“It was the first time he had threatened to impose a specific level of tariffs on automobiles from Europe.”

The Fifty-Year Fall of America

Steven Brill, author of Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall — and Those Fighting to Reverse It, joins Chris Riback on Political Wire Conversations for a discussion on what’s wrong with the United States.

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Thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode.

Court Rules Warrant Is Needed for Cell Tower Records

“The Supreme Court on Friday put new restraints on law enforcement’s access to the ever-increasing amount of private information about Americans available in the digital age,” the Washington Post reports.

“In the specific case before the court, the justices ruled that authorities generally must obtain a warrant to gain access to cell-tower records that can provide a virtual timeline and map of a person’s whereabouts.”

“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the 5 to 4 decision, in which he was joined by the court’s liberal members.”

EPA Claims Pruitt Wrote Just One Email

“An examination of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s government email accounts has uncovered only one message he wrote to anyone outside EPA during his first 10 months in office — a number that has watchdogs questioning whether he is communicating in private,” Politico reports.

“EPA says Pruitt mainly holds discussions in person or over the phone, which would explain the meager electronic trail for his external communications. But Pruitt’s critics remain suspicious — especially in light of all the steps the agency has taken to conceal his activities, from refusing to release his meeting calendars to installing a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office.”

Tax Reform Becoming Less Popular

“It’s been six months since President Donald Trump signed into law the Republican tax cuts. During that time, the measure appears to have become less popular — not more. The GOP’s big 2018 midterms sales pitch isn’t working out exactly how party leaders thought it would,” Vox reports.

“According to a Monmouth University poll released this week, just 34 percent of Americans said they approve of the Republican tax reform package, compared to 41 percent who disapprove. That’s down from April, when 40 percent of Americans said they approved of the law and 44 percent did not. In January, respondents were evenly split, with 44 percent saying they approved and another 44 percent voicing disapproval of the plan.”

“Broadly, most polling shows the tax law is more disliked than liked by Americans. A recent Quinnipiac poll found 39 percent of respondents approve of the legislation and 46 percent disapprove of it. An Economist/YouGov poll found a smaller but still negative margin, with 38 percent approving and 40 percent not.”

Trump Tells GOP to ‘Stop Wasting Time’ on Immigration

President Trump on Friday told Republican lawmakers to “stop wasting their time” on immigration legislation, even as the House grapples to reach a compromise, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”

Politico: “The tweet puts Ryan in a serious bind. To stave off a discharge petition from moderate Republicans and Democrats, the Wisconsin Republican promised the centrists that he’d give them a vote on some sort of bill they could support. If Ryan listens to Trump and cancels the vote, moderates will be furious.”

“But if Ryan schedules the vote, the result could be catastrophic. GOP members who thought they could support the bill have already started telling leadership that they will no longer vote for it. They simply cannot go up against the president, they say.”

Stephen Miller Stays In the Shadows

“Stephen Miller, the architect of President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, was noticeably absent from public view this week as the White House first vociferously defended and then caved on separating migrant children from their parents,” Politico reports.

“That wasn’t an accident. Among White House insiders, there is a sense that the president’s senior adviser for policy is a bad front man for the issue he’s most passionate about. Miller stayed entirely out of the spotlight during days of mounting political pressure, though behind the scenes he visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday night along with Trump to sell House Republicans on immigration legislation.”

“While other White House aides, like national security adviser John Bolton and National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow, are prized by Trump for their smooth defense of his policies on television, Miller is the opposite, valued as a source of ideas that the president believes appeal to his base.”

ABC Plans ‘Roseanne’ Spin Off

ABC, which canceled its “Roseanne” revival over its star’s racist tweet, said it will air a Conner family sitcom minus Roseanne Barr this fall, Politico reports.

“ABC ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff after Barr relinquished any creative or financial participation in it, which the network had said was a condition of such a series.”

Ryan Pushes Immigration Vote Until Next Week

Speaker Paul Ryan surprised Capitol Hill by delaying a vote on a “compromise“ immigration package until next week, as GOP leaders search for a way to get 218 votes to pass the measure, Politico reports.

“Ryan told lawmakers that leadership may add an E-Verify mandate — an online system that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of employees to work in the United States — as well as other provisions called for by rural state lawmakers to the package.”