President Trump has unleashed another of his signature Sunday morning tweetstorms, lashing out - as he frequently does - at the Washington Post and the FBI while assuring the public that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would "always be friends, no matter what happens with our trade dispute."
Trump also insisted that China would take down its trade barriers "because its the right thing to do", and that "Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!"
President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
His tone is a marked departure from his attitude Thursday night, when Trump angrily threatened to unleash tariffs on another $100 billion of incoming Chinese goods, sending stock futures plunging into the red.
Trump's remarks about his "friendship" with Xi also seem especially incongruous against the backdrop of the burgeoning confrontation between US and Chinese warships in the Pacific, as we pointed out late last week. The notion that three US carrier battle groups are facing off with a Chinese Aircraft carrier in the always-contentious South China Sea doesn't exactly seem like a gesture of friendship.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials have exhorted their counterparts at the European Union to join them in checking the US and its errant trade war threats.
But regardless of what happens between the two leaders - they'll always have their time together in the Great Hall of the People...
Separately, in his latest swipe at the Washington Post, Amazon's "chief lobbyist", Trump pushed back against stories published by the Washington Post (and also by Axios, as we noted) that Kelly and the president are on the verge of a massive falling out - and that Kelly marched into the Oval Office threatening to quit. According to the media reports, Kelly has been frustrated by Trump, who has started to go around his chief of staff because he's tired of "always being told no."
The Washington Post is far more fiction than fact. Story after story is made up garbage - more like a poorly written novel than good reporting. Always quoting sources (not names), many of which don’t exist. Story on John Kelly isn’t true, just another hit job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
And of course, it wouldn't be a Trump tweetstorm if he didn't quote from a political ally's appearance on Fox News. This week, that ally was Jesse Watters, who lashed out at the FBI during a Saturday evening airing of his show, Watters' World.
“The FBI closed the case on Hillary, which was a rigged investigation. They exonerated her even before they ever interviewed her, they never even put her under oath.....” and much more. So true Jesse! @WattersWorld— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
This leaves us with two questions: Which vacant senior Trump administration post will Watters inevitably occupy? And, as the US creeps closer toward the futures open, will the latest softening of Trump's trade rhetoric have any discernible impact?