‘BAD’ DEAL CRACKDOWN Trump signs exec order tackling trade deficit

One week before he hosts a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump on Friday signed a pair of executive orders aimed at cracking down on trade abuses and identifying the causes of America’s massive trade deficit. 

“We’re going to get these bad trade deals straightened out,” Trump said from the Oval Office. “The jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country, year after year, decade after decade, trade deficit upon trade deficit reaching more than $700 billion last year alone and lots of jobs.”

The first executive order concentrates on tougher enforcement of anti-dumping laws and increasing the collection of anti-dumping penalties and so-called countervailing duties — a mechanism used against foreign governments that subsidize their producers and sell goods at below-market prices.

Anti-dumping penalties target exporters that sell goods below the cost of production.

Between 2001 and 2016, about $2.8 billion in import taxes went uncollected from companies in 40 countries, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday. He told reporters that by not using the enforcement mechanism properly, Americans lose out on funds that could be used for other purposes.  

The second executive order calls on the Commerce Department and U.S. trade representative to produce a comprehensive report

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/31/trump-signs-executive-orders-to-crack-down-on-trade-abuses-increase-enforcement.html


MAKING GOOD ON VOW? Trump set to sign executive orders aimed at trade abuse crackdown

President Trump on Friday is set to sign a pair of executive orders aimed at cracking down on trade abuses, administration officials said.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the first order calls for the completion of a large-scale report to identify “every form of trade abuse and every non-reciprocal practice that now contributes to the U.S. trade deficit.”

Officials will have 90 days to produce a country-by-country, product-by-product report that will serve as the basis of future decision-making by the administration on trade-related issues, Ross told reporters at a Thursday night briefing.

“It will demonstrate the administration’s intention not to hip-shoot, not to do anything casual, not to do anything abruptly, but to take a very measured and analytical approach, both to analyzing the problem and therefore to developing the solutions for it,” he said.

Trump talked tough on trade on the campaign trail, vowing to renegotiate a slew

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/31/trump-to-target-trade-abuses-in-latest-executive-orders.html


CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD Trump, Freedom Caucus clash in wake of ObamaCare bill collapse

President Trump on Thursday struck back at the House caucus that sunk his ObamaCare replacement bill, threatening their legislative careers if the staunchly conservative members refuse to get on board with the new president’s agenda.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, fast. We must fight them, Dems, in 2018!” Trump tweeted.

Later Thursday, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash returned fire in the Republican civil war:

“It didn’t take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump. No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment,” Amash wrote.

Later, Amash told Fox News that “most people don’t take well to being bullied” and compared Trump’s tactics to those of a fifth grader.

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, however, refused to take Trump’s bait

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/30/trump-on-freedom-caucus-must-fight-them.html


GROWING INVESTIGATION: Senators expand probe of Trump, Russia ties

Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Wednesday they are expanding their investigation of Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential campaign and beyond, vowing to remain independent and “get to the bottom of this” – amid mounting controversy over a similar probe on the House side.

The senators announced they are now scheduling interviews and reviewing thousands of sensitive documents, and are prepared to issue subpoenas if necessary.

“This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads it,” Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., told reporters, speaking alongside top panel Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

The committee is set to hold its first public hearing on the Russia issue on Thursday, a session that will feature several foreign policy experts. But on the sidelines, Burr and Warner revealed new details about the scope of their investigation.

Burr said they’ve devoted seven professional staff members to the investigation, and they’re going through “an unprecedented amount of documents.” He said they’re reviewing “thousands” of raw intelligence and other products.

Further, he said the committee this week began to schedule its first interviews — making 20 requests so far, with five already scheduled. He confirmed that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, is among those the committee

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/29/senators-expand-russia-investigation-amid-scrutiny-house-probe.html


‘THE O’REILLY FACTOR’ Nunes talks meeting Trump source on WH grounds

The chairman of the House intelligence committee told Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday that “there was no sneaking around” when he met with the secret source behind his claim that President Trump’s associates were caught up in “incidental” surveillance.

“We go to the executive branch at least once or twice a week,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told host Bill O’Reilly. “This is not unusual, because there are intelligence products that we don’t have access to in the House of Representatives, although we do have the clearances to see them.


“So, we’ve known about this long before Trump actually sent his famous tweet out about the ‘wiretapping’ at Trump Tower,” Nunes went on. “We’ve known that there was additional unmasking of Americans’ names. We’ve had sources that have provided that information. And so, what I had to do was that I needed a place that I could actually go and find this information and review it.”

The chairman said he did not go to the West Wing or speak to Trump on the day he met his source, and re-emphasized that the information he reviewed “had nothing to do with Russia. That’s

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/27/nunes-on-meeting-source-on-white-house-grounds-there-was-no-sneaking-around.html


INFO DIDN’T ‘BELONG IN THERE’ Key lawmaker says NSA turning over ‘concerning’ Trump surveillance docs

A key lawmaker who went public this week with charges the Obama administration collected and spread information from surveillance of President Trump’s transition team said Friday documents he’s been shown “concerned me.”

“There’s some information in those documents that concerned me and I don’t think belonged in there,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told reporters at a press conference.

He reasserted that it seemed that the information was still collected legally, and also expressed concern about the decision to unmask names.

By law, Americans caught incidentally during surveillance of foreign targets must be protected by having their names “masked.” Nunes said more than one American – and possibly Trump – had their names “unmasked” and their names and information were widely distributed within the intelligence community.

“It appears like this was all legal survillance from what I can tell,” he said, but later added: “You have to ask why were names unmasked.

“Maybe someone has a good reason for it but not from what I’ve been able to read,” he said.

Nunes said NSA Director Mike Rogers has been “highly cooperative” with his committee and could turn over documents, possibly transcripts of surveilled conversations, Friday or sometime next week.

Nunes did not say how many

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/24/nunes-says-information-from-trump-surveillance-concerned-me.html


LIVE BLOG Gorsuch tangles with Leahy over Trump travel ban, interrogations

Judge Neil Gorsuch is facing his first day of questions in the second day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing Tuesday.

Follow FoxNews.com’s live blog below.

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/21/gorsuch-faces-questions-in-supreme-court-hearings-second-day-watch-live.html


‘FOX NEWS SUNDAY’: Key GOP rep denies Trump Tower wiretap claim

The chairman of the House intelligence committee told “Fox News Sunday” that phones at President Donald Trump’s campaign headquarters in midtown Manhattan were never tapped during last year’s election campaign, contrary to Trump’s earlier, unsubstantiated assertion.

“Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No, there never was,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said. “The information we received Friday continues to lead us in that direction.”

Nunes added: “There was no FISA warrant I am aware of to tap Trump Tower.” FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires investigators to seek a warrant from a secret court to wiretap a foreign suspect.


Nunes spoke as the committee prepares to begin hearings Monday into Russia’s role in cybersecurity breaches at the Democratic National Committee, as well as President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor had authorized a wiretap of Trump Tower. FBI Director James Comey and Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, are slated to testify.

Trump told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” earlier this week that he would provide evidence of his wiretapping claim to the committee “very soon.”

Nunes said the committee will also examine whether the Russians were

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/19/house-intel-committee-chairman-there-never-was-trump-tower-wiretap.html


‘VAST SUMS’ Trump hits Germany on NATO after Merkel visit

President Trump said Saturday that he had a “great” meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, dismissing as “fake news” reports about a difficult first visit, while continuing to criticize the country for its limited support of NATO.  

“Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” Trump said in a two-part tweet. “Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”

The Saturday morning tweets have become a familiar part of Trump’s media strategy. And with 26.7 million followers, he has found a way to sidestep traditional media to challenge stories that he considers unfair, incorrect of simply “fake.”

News reports that Trump and Merkel struggled during her White House visit Friday is in part a result of the world leaders not shaking hands before reporters during a photo op in the Oval Office.

And later, during a joint

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/18/trump-says-great-merkel-visit-amid-fake-news-but-still-hits-germany-on-nato.html


NOT BACKING DOWN: Trump stands by wiretap claim, jokes he has ‘something in common’ with Merkel

President Trump on Friday once again suggested former President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 election, joking during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that they have “something in common.”            

The president briefly touched on the wiretapping comment controversy when asked by a reporter about his allegations from earlier this month. 

“At least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump quipped. 

Merkel cracked a smile as reporters in the room laughed.

Trump’s comment was a reference to 2013 reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had listened in on Merkel’s phone calls. An inquiry was launched into the allegations after former NSA worker Edward Snowden revealed details of the secret U.S. eavesdropping programs.

Merkel declared at the time that “spying among friends” was unacceptable. The incident blemished an otherwise strong diplomatic relationship between Obama and Merkel.

Trump continues to face pressure to provide evidence for his widely disputed claims that Trump Tower was the target of an Obama administration wiretap during the presidential campaign.

On the sidelines of the press conference, Trump’s Justice Department said it had “complied” with a request from several congressional committees for information relating to surveillance during the 2016 election. A high-profile hearing

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/17/trump-stands-by-wiretap-claim-jokes-has-something-in-common-with-merkel.html