By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
President Donald Trump on Friday said Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe was no longer being considered for director of national intelligence, and he also couldn’t resist joking about import tariffs on German cars, while tweeting “Too bad!” about an attempted break-in at a Democratic congressman’s Baltimore home.
Trump said Ratcliffe decided to stay in Congress instead of “going through months of slander and libel” from his opponents, adding that a new pick would be announced “shortly” and he had three candidates.
Democrats had vowed to fight Ratcliffe’s nomination for Director of National Intelligence due to concerns about his experience and charges that he inflated his resume. They also had contended that Ratcliffe would not be an independent voice like departing chief Dan Coats.
Trump joked about putting import tariffs on German automobiles as he announced a deal to boost American beef exports to the European Union.
The president said the U.S. is working on a deal with the EU that would mean 25% tariffs on all incoming cars from BMW /zigman2/quotes/202432319/delayed XE:BMW +3.78% /zigman2/quotes/209548467/delayed DE:BMW +4.50% and Daimler AG’s /zigman2/quotes/201850364/delayed XE:DAI +3.48% /zigman2/quotes/201850364/delayed XE:DAI +3.48% Mercedez-Benz brand, but then added, “I’m only kidding.” He later added that auto tariffs are “never off the table.”
In discussing the deal that was reached with the EU, Trump said duty-free U.S. beef exports to the trade bloc will increase by 46% in year one, then rise another 90% over seven years.
“In total, the duty-free exports will rise from $150 million to $420 million,” the president said.
The president also continued his recent war of words against the city of Baltimore and Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, as he tweeted that it was “Really bad news!” and “Too bad!” that Cummings’ house in that city was “robbed.”
Cummings said an intruder tried to break into his home in the early hours of July 27, but a security system detected the move and he then “scared the intruder away by yelling before the person gained entry into the residential portion of the house.”
Nikki Haley, Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, was among those who criticized Trump’s comment on the attempted break-in, as she tweeted that it was “so unnecessary.” White House adviser Kellyanne Conway defended the president, saying Haley’s tweet was unnecessary.
SUPPORT FOR NORTH KOREA, JAILED RAPPER
The president tweeted his support for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the isolated nation fired short-range ballistic missiles in defiance of UN resolutions.
Trump said the missile tests were not a violation of a deal reached last year in Singapore, and he said Kim will “do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!”
The president also cheered on A$AP Rocky in a tweet after the American rapper was freed from a Swedish jail. Trump has been weighing in to support him in an assault case.