Over the weekend, Jonathan Swan reported on life in the Oval Office. This happened during John Kelly’s first week as Trump’s chief of staff:
“John, you haven’t been in a trade discussion before, so I want to share with you my views. For the last six months, this same group of geniuses comes in here all the time and I tell them, ‘Tariffs. I want tariffs.’ And what do they do? They bring me IP. I can’t put a tariff on IP.” (Most in the room understood that the president can, in fact, use tariffs to combat Chinese IP theft.)
“China is laughing at us,” Trump added. “Laughing.”
Kelly responded: “Yes sir, I understand, you want tariffs.”
Tariffs, baby, we want tariffs. On what? iPhones? Computers? T-shirts? Who cares. Just bring the man some tariffs!