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May 31, 2019

Just who was President Trump's tariff redux supposed to impress?

On Thursday night, Trump tweeted his intention to impose a five percent tariff on all imports from Mexico starting June 10. And almost immediately, everyone but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lined up to tear holes in it.

The tariffs would increase by five percent every month until peaking at 25 percent in September, and will remain "until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory," a White House statement clarified. Stock markets took the news hard, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all sliding about a percent when they opened Friday morning. Economists also pointed out how the tariffs could push prices on cars, avocados and other American essentials through the roof.

Lawmakers cited all those reasons when voicing their tariff opposition on Friday, with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) specifically suggesting the tariffs could jeopardize the USMCA trade deal Trump has spent months trying to pass. Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued perhaps the harshest blow, reminding Trump that "trade policy and border security are separate issues" in a statement and calling the tariffs "a misuse of presidential tariff authority." Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn't quite say Trump was on the right track.

But Graham? Well, he's on Trump's side yet again. Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn Krawczyk

1:55 p.m.

In the first Open Championship in Northern Ireland since 1951, it was a man from the Republic of Ireland who took the crown.

Ireland's Shane Lowry won his first major on the PGA Tour on Sunday when he captured The Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Portrush, Northern Ireland. The 32-year-old cruised to victory, finishing 15-under par with a total of 269 and winning by six strokes.

It was only the third time in the past 40 years someone has won The Open by six shots or more. Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in 2000 and Louis Oosthuizen did it in 2010, ESPN reports.

Lowry didn't have much competition breathing down his neck, but Englishman Tommy Fleetwood had a strong overall performance to finish in second place at 9-under.

While there wasn't much drama on the green, emotions were still running for Lowry afterwards, as he thanked his parents while hoisting the claret jug. Tim O'Donnell

1:29 p.m.

Remember Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) certainly does.

It was easy to lose sight of during this past week, as stories revolving around President Trump's racist tweets and maritime conflict in the Strait of Hormuz have dominated the headlines, but Mueller is set to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday about his two-year investigation into 2016 Russian election interference.

Nadler, the Judiciary Committee chair, appeared on Sunday's edition of Fox News Sunday, where he told host Chris Wallace that he doesn't believe the public has moved on from the investigation. He also provided a very brief sneak peek about what type of questions to expect from the Democrats during the hearings. Spoiler: they're going to be very specific.

As for the Republicans? Nadler thinks they'll likely just be wasting their time by asking about alleged FBI misconduct.

At the end of the day, Nadler says, it is Trump's conduct which is under scrutiny, not the FBI's. And Nadler thinks there is "very substantial evidence" pointing toward the president being guilty of "high crimes and misdeamors." Tim O'Donnell

12:54 p.m.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) had some strong words for President Trump on Sunday.

In appearances on CNN's State of the Union and CBS' Face the Nation, Booker tore into Trump over his racist tweets directed at four democratic congresswomen. A lot of the discourse around Trump's tweets has been about whether Republican members of Congress were willing to condemn them, or the president himself, as racist. Booker, of course, is not in the GOP, but the 2020 Democratic candidate took the discussion to a new level.

In his CNN interview, Booker said Trump "is worse than a racist."

He doubled down on that line in his CBS interview, telling host Margaret Brennan that Trump is "using race like a weapon" to divide the country. He also added that this issue went beyond politics for him — if it had been a Republican on the receiving ends of the insults, Booker says he would react the same way. Tim O'Donnell

12:17 p.m.

The 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees each left a lasting mark on modern baseball en route to their enshrinement in Cooperstown. Here's a rundown of who's going in and why:

Edgar Martinez — The Seattle Mariners' legend had to wait far too long because voters felt that players who spent the majority of their careers as designated hitters didn't deserve to make it Cooperstown. Sure, fielding is an essential part of the game, but Martinez was one of the best hitters of his era. In a career that spanned from 1987 to 2004, he slashed .312/.418/.515, won two batting titles, and walked more than he struck out.

Mike Mussina — The cerebral pitcher, who split his career between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, was as consistent as they come, making at least 24 starts every season after his debut year in 1991. Mussina won 270 games, tossed 3,562.2 innings, and compiled a career 3.68 ERA. Mussina was a model fielding pitcher, capturing seven Gold Gloves.

Mariano Rivera — "The Sandman" is arguably the greatest closer in the history of the game and his unanimous election into the Hall speaks to that. Famed for his devastating cutter, which he threw over 85 percent of the time, Rivera, who hails from Panama, helped lead the Yankees to five world series during his 19-year career. The all-time saves leader won the World Series MVP in 1999 against the Atlanta Braves.

Roy Halladay — Halladay's induction will likely be the most emotional moment of the afternoon. The two-time Cy Young Award winner died in 2017 in a plane crash, so his wife, Brandy, will give a speech on his behalf. He's most famous for hurling just the second-ever no-hitter in a postseason game in the 2010 National League Division Series between the Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.

Two other stellar players, Harold Baines and Lee Smith, are also going into the Hall after the Today's Game Committee voted them after their eligibility had expired. Tim O'Donnell

11:20 a.m.

Marvel can rest now.

Avengers: Endgame has officially passed Avatar at the worldwide box office and become the highest-grossing film in history, Disney has announced. The Marvel superhero event took in $2.790 billion by Sunday, Disney said, topping Avatar's previous record of $2.789 billion, reports The Hollywood Reporter. This is the first time the highest-grossing film worldwide unadjusted for inflation has been a movie not directed by James Cameron since before 1998's Titanic.

The milestone for Endgame, the culmination of more than a decade of Marvel Studios' storytelling, comes nearly three months after it landed in theaters with a mind-blowing domestic opening weekend of $357 million and a global opening weekend of $1.2 billion. For some time after, box office prognosticators were skeptical that Endgame could leap past Avatar, but a re-release prior to Marvel's Spider-Man: Far From Home helped provide a boost, and Disney also "found additional money when reconciling the movie's final global earnings," the Reporter notes.

The timing of this announcement couldn't have been better, either, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was able to inform fans about the studio's achievement at the start of its Saturday San Diego Comic-Con panel, during which Marvel went on to preview its next several years of post-Endgame movies and TV shows, announcing a fourth Thor film featuring Natalie Portman as a female Thor, a new Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali, and much more.

Given Endgame's unprecedented level of anticipation, it's difficult to imagine another film on the horizon that might outgross it, with one exception: Avatar itself. Several sequels are coming, and it's possible Disney will re-release the original Avatar prior to its follow-up, allowing Cameron to reign supreme once again. For now, though, the Avengers have won the box office fight of their lives. Brendan Morrow

11:03 a.m.

Fox & Friends may have been at the root of President Trump's racist tweets directed at four democratic congresswomen last week.

A report from The Washington Post, which relied on information from 26 White House aides, advisers, and lawmakers, details how even Trump's own top aides believed he did not understand the political ramifications of what he had done last Sunday when he tweeted that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) should "go back" to the "places from which they came."

It turns out that Trump was reportedly watching Fox & Friends, one of his favorite shows, after waking up in the morning when he decided he thought it would be a good idea to "elevate" the congresswomen, whom he reportedly believes make good political foils.

Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway reportedly then had to explain to the president why the tweets had caused such stirring outrage throughout Washington and the media landscape.

While it's unclear what specifically about the show's segment on the congresswomen might have inspired the particular sentiment behind the tweets, it looks like another potential example of the reputed influence the cable news network has on the president's opinions. Read more about the fallout of Trump's tweets at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

8:23 a.m.

It was once again Iran's turn to send out a warning.

Tehran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, warned the U.K. on Sunday against escalating tensions following Tehran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. On Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the U.K.'s response to the seizure would be "considered, but robust."

Baeidinejad said British political voices calling for action were "quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region." He added that "Iran is firm and ready for different scenarios." The United States, France, and Germany have all expressed support for the U.K. Still, British Chancellor Philip Hammond said the government would pursue "every possible diplomatic route" in hopes of reaching a resolution with Tehran. Hunt said Parliament will be updated about "what further measures" the government would take on Monday.

In a recording of radio exchanges between a British Royal Navy frigate and Iranian armed forces vessels right before the seizure, the Iranian forces can be heard telling a ship, likely the Stena Impero, "if you obey you will be safe," while the British navy tells the ship that, because of international law, its passage must not be impeded. Tehran said the Stena Impero crew was in "good health." Tim O'Donnell

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