Politics

(Washington)

Anyone hoping the current trade war might have stalled will be sorely mistaken today. While Trump says he plans to to impose an additional $200 bn of tariffs on China in September, he has just said he is ready to go to a full $500 bn of tariffs on Chinese imports. When asked if he thought his plans would cause the stock markets to drop, Trump responded “Well, if it does, it does. Look, I'm not doing this for politics. I'm doing this to do this right thing for our country”.


FINSUM: We think the US does currently get a raw deal in a lot of foreign trade, especially with China. However, the manner in which this “negotiation” is proceeding does seem to be unnecessarily disruptive.

(New York)

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has just formally opened an investigation into Trump’s charity activities. The state accuses the Donald J. Trump Foundation of violating state tax laws regarding campaign financing, self-dealing, and illegally coordinating with the presidential campaign. The state seeks to dissolve the foundation in addition to other measures. The investigation may turn criminal, in which case it could widen in scope to include much of Trump’s personal financial affairs, including his tax returns.


FINSUM: Hard to know how broad this could extend, but it seems like it will certainly intersect with Mueller’s investigation. It could prove a big headache for the president.

(Washington)

President Trump faced nothing short of public and political outrage in the US yesterday, after he essentially sided with Russia’s view of the 2016 election meddling scandal. When asked about Russia’ alleged meddling in the election, Trump insinuated that he believed Putin’s side of the story more than that of US intelligence agencies (though he did not say this outright). That sparked widespread condemnation from political foes and allies alike.


FINSUM: Whatever you think of Trump’s comments, most might agree that these are some of his most provocative and risky comments yet. The reason being that appearing to “side” with Russia might undermine some of his own nationalist voter base.

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