Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: March 3, 2018

Trump calls trade wars 'good, and easy to win' amid fallout from tariffs plan, Putin says he must see evidence of election meddling to respond, and more

1

Trump calls trade wars 'good, and easy to win' amid fallout from tariffs plan

President Trump's unplanned announcement that he will slap a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum sent the stock market reeling Thursday. Friday morning, Trump seemed to welcome the upheaval. "When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win," he tweeted. "Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don't trade anymore — we win big. It's easy!" Most economists, including Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, disagree.

2

Putin says he must see evidence of election meddling to respond

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the United States must send him evidence more substantial than "yelling and hollering in the United States Congress" if he is to respond to allegations of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. In an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly with a translated voiceover, Putin asked Washington to "give us a document, give us an official request" so he can see the allegations and determine whether the Russian nationals involved have violated his country's laws. "We can not respond to that if they do not violate Russian laws," Putin insisted.

3

Trade partners mull retaliation in Trump's trade war

Foreign governments are weighing their options following President Trump's apparently capricious declaration of a trade war. "We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans," said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker of possible means of retaliation should Trump's tariffs plan be realized. Canada, China, and the European Union have all pledged retaliatory tariffs, and Trump's proposal has reportedly undercut NAFTA negotiations with Canada and Mexico. Other countries could also begin dumping American debt, which would wreak havoc in the bond market, especially as tax cuts and military spending hikes together push the deficit back toward $1 trillion annually.

4

Jared Kushner faces increasing pressure to leave Washington

President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, are under increasing pressure to return to New York City. Kushner's top-secret security clearance was downgraded last week, and he has faced criticism over possibly using his White House position to benefit his family business. Trump himself has reportedly wondered whether his daughter and son-in-law would be happier outside of Washington. The Wall Street Journal editorial board suggested as much earlier this week, musing that leaving the White House would be a "bitter remedy," but the couple "could still offer advice as outsiders."

5

DOJ report to criticize FBI's Andrew McCabe for Clinton leak

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release an internal investigation into the FBI's handling of Hillary Clinton's emails in the next few weeks, and the report is expected to single out former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for censure. McCabe stepped down in January amid sharp criticism from President Trump and concerns sparked by the coming report, in which Horowitz will likely accuse McCabe of improperly disclosing information to The Wall Street Journal for an October 2016 article on the Clinton Foundation. Trump is predicted to use the report in his feud with the FBI.

6

Stormy Daniels reportedly threatened to go public with Trump allegations in 2016

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had an affair with President Trump around the time his third wife, first lady Melania Trump, gave birth to their son, threatened to go public with her story shortly before the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported Friday evening. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to pay Daniels $130,000 of his own money to buy her silence about a relationship he says did not occur. In late October of 2016, the payment had yet to arrive, and Daniels' attorney emailed Cohen to say his client "deems her settlement agreement canceled and void." The payment is now subject to two complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission.

7

Northeast storm leaves 7 dead, 2.3 million without power

At least seven people were killed in connection to the "bomb cyclone" storm that swept through the Northeast Friday, and some 2.3 million people remain without power in their homes and businesses. Amtrak has suspended service along its Northeast corridor; 3,300 flights have been canceled; and there are road closures thanks to downed trees and power lines from Maryland to Maine. The storm is beginning to subside Saturday, but flooding, especially in coastal areas of Massachusetts, remains a grave threat. Boston Harbor is expected to experience record-setting floods Friday night through Saturday morning.

8

Michigan shooting suspect in custody

A Central Michigan University student suspected of killing his parents Friday has been taken into custody by police. James Eric Davis Jr., a 19-year-old sophomore, was being picked up by his parents for spring break when he is believed to have fatally shot his mother, Diva Davis, and father, James Davis Sr., at his dorm. Police launched a major manhunt for Davis Jr. and arrested him without incident after he was spotted on a train near campus. Police Lt. Larry Klaus said the suspect was hospitalized the night before the attack with a "bad reaction to drugs" and there could be a "mental health component" to the crime.

9

California parents arrested for housing children in makeshift plywood hut

A couple from Joshua Tree, California, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of willful cruelty to their children after police discovered three children living in a makeshift plywood hut without electricity or running water. The parents, Daniel Panico and Mona Kirk, live nearby in a camper trailer on a property strewn with trash and feces and also inhabited by 30 cats. The children, ages 14, 13, and 11, said they have lived in the hut for four years but were not held captive. They were placed in foster care. Friends of the family said Friday the parents are not abusive but simply "don't want handouts."

10

Rapper Rick Ross hospitalized

Rapper Rick Ross was rushed to the hospital by his family in Miami on Thursday, TMZ reported Friday, and reports about his condition vary. While initial stories said Ross, 42, was on life support, his friend and fellow hip-hop artist Fat Trel said on Instagram Friday night Ross was able to speak with him by phone. Other entertainers are posting statements of support for Ross while his status remains unclear. "Sending love and prayers up for Rick Ross and his family," wrote rapper LL Cool J on Twitter. "Stay encouraged [and] stay strong."

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