Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is slated to take reporters’ questions at the White House on Friday.
The briefing follows the Trump administration’s enactment of broad tariffs on steel and aluminum on Thursday. Flanked by Cabinet members and U.S. steel workers in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump signed new import taxes of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
The tariffs, a manifestation of Trump’s key campaign promise to fight back against “unfair” trade with global partners, have caused significant political fallout since Trump announced them just last week. Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic advisor and an opponent of protectionist trade policies, announced his resignation less than a week after Trump unveiled the new tariffs.
And the new import taxes have sparked a pushback from members of Trump’s party in Congress. More than 100 Republican U.S. representatives signed a letter urging Trump to at least pare back the scope of the new tariffs, which were set to apply globally and were signed into effect without the legislature’s approval.
The administration did take a step back in due course, exempting Canada and Mexico from the new penalties and inviting other countries to negotiate for better deals.
U.S. markets, which had been holding their breath on the new policy, relaxed after the exemptions signaled a softening stance on trade. The carve-outs for Nafta partners, coupled with an exceptionally strong U.S. jobs report for February, sent stocks roaring higher.
On the same day the tariffs were signed, the White House confirmed that groundwork is being laid for a potential face-to-face meeting between the Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
If the meeting comes to fruition, it would be the first such encounter between the U.S. and North Korean heads of state.
Trump has made it clear that his goal is the total denuclearization of Kim’s rogue state.
Trump tweet: Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!
But the White House is also dealing with issues much closer to home. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, reportedly sought a restraining order against former adult film star Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, in an attempt to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
Furthermore, NBC reported on Friday that Cohen used a Trump Organization email address while setting up the initial $130,000 payment to Clifford as part of her nondisclosure agreement before the 2016 election, citing a source familiar with the discussions.
Daniels had recently filed a lawsuit against Trump over the agreement, alleging that it was never validated because Trump himself never signed it.