This Day in Trump, Day 91: Meeting With the Italian Prime Minister

WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, President Donald Trump met with the Italian prime minister to discuss global security. The two men had different perspectives on the role of the United States in Libya, and those differences quickly became apparent.Trump also met with representatives from the steel industry and nominated an ambassador to New Zealand, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions got in a scuffle with the senators from Hawaii. Highlight of the dayOn Thursday afternoon, Trump met with Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister of Italy. The two men complimented each other extensively before focusing on their respective concerns about global security.“Through the ages, your country has been a beacon of artistic and scientific achievement,” Trump told Gentiloni. “From Venice to Florence, from Verdi to Pavarotti.”Soon afterward, though, the two men revealed their differing views on America’s role abroad. At a press conference, Gentiloni said he and Trump had discussed the importance of increasing stability in Libya, where conflict has been rampant since civil war lead to the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. In the years since, ISIS has steadily gained power in the region.“We need the region and we need countries like Egypt and Tunisia that are close to Libya, we need a stable and unified Libya. A divided country in conflict would make stability worse," Gentiloni said, while speaking in Italian. "The U.S. role in this is critical."Moments later, in English, Trump took the opposite position.“I do not see a role in Libya,” Trump said. “We have enough roles. We have a role everywhere.”Trump, who will visit Italy next month at a G-7 summit in Sicily, added that he does “see a role in getting rid of ISIS” generally.The Trump agendaUntil now, Trump administrators have been vague about how they’ll trim the deficit while also introducing massive tax cuts. On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained he believes that the tax cuts will pay for themselves as a result of economic growth.“Assuming economic growth based on changes to the tax code is known as “dynamic scoring,” and many conservatives embrace its use when arguing for lower rates. But estimating the future economic impact of tax cuts is very difficult to do, as it requires policy makers to rely on economic forecasts that are often imprecise,” wrote Damian Paletta and Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post economic reporters.Later Thursday, Gary Cohn, the White House National Economic Council Director, said some aspects of the tax plan proposal have not yet been settled.Trump also signed a memo on Thursday directing the Commerce Department to investigate imports of foreign steel.Calling it a “historic day” for American steelworkers, Trump said his administration would determine how much steel is needed for national security, and consider imposing a high tariff on steel beyond what is necessary for security purposes. Trump also renewed his criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement, once again calling it a “disaster.”Family tiesOn Thursday afternoon, Trump’s daughter Ivanka announced she was establishing a new charitable fund for the proceeds she will receive for her book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success.”The royalties the book earns will be donated to the National Urban League and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, she said in a Facebook post.Earlier this week, the First Daughter said she would not go on a book tour to promote the book in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest. She wrote the book before the election.“Out of an abundance of caution and to avoid the appearance of using my official role to promote the book, I will not publicize the book through a promotional tour or media appearances,” she wrote.Coming and goingOn Thursday, Trump also announced that he was nominating Scott Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts, to serve as ambassador to New Zealand.Brown has not commented on the appointment, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who ousted Brown from his Senate seat in 2012, was quick to offer congratulations.“You have my support,” she tweeted. “I’m sure you’ll make the people of MA proud.”Um, what?Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to diss the state of Hawaii on Thursday, dismissing it as “an island in the Pacific” while critiquing Derrick Watson, the federal judge who ruled against Trump’s second proposed travel ban in March.Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat, wasn’t pleased.“Hey Jeff Sessions,” she tweeted. “This #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics.”Hirono added that she found Sessions’ comments “ignorant and dangerous.”A spokesman for the Department of Justice responded to the criticism by saying that Sessions was correct in his statement.“Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific,” the spokesman said in a statement. “A beautiful one where the Attorney General’s granddaughter was born."What’s nextRumors flew on Thursday that the Trump administration wanted Republicans in Congress to take another swing at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. The Republicans’ last attempt to do so, with the American Health Care Act, failed after a last-minute scramble when it became clear to the White House that the bill would not have enough support from House Republicans to pass. Katie Leslie of The Dallas Morning News reports on what might be next.At his press conference with Gentiloni, Trump said he wanted to see an Obamacare replacement passed as early as next week.“This will be great healthcare,” Trump told reporters. “It is evolving."  Continue reading...

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