The Genius of President Trump’s ‘Tariffs’ Leak

Gary Cohn tariffsGary Cohn, Chief Economic Advisor, opposes tariffs

Johnathon Swan of Axios recently broke an exclusive story of President Trump talking to his staff in the Oval Office, demanding they bring him tariffs against China. General John Kelly has just become Chief of Staff, so President Trump wanted to brief him on his trade views, as well as reiterate to the rest of his staff that his ideals have not changed. He wants tariffs.

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.

IP refers to Chinese IP theft, investigations of which are a way the United States can combat Chinese economic influence. The President later goes on to say that “China is laughing at us. Laughing.” Gary Cohn, Chief Economic Adviser to President Trump and very much against tariffs and protectionist trade, apparently scoffed at the idea.

Firstly, let’s break down the genius of this leak. It has been known for a long time that President Trump’s administration selectively and purposely leaks. Sometimes, leaking fake things to find leakers in the government, finding which journalists communicate with these leakers, etc. The Trump Campaign and Administration sometimes leaks memos or proposals to gauge public opinion. Sometimes, leaks are done to send coded messages to his base. Sometimes there are leaks to gain a strategic advantage in a domestic or foreign policy. The last reason seems to be the case. If it is not a strategic leak, it sure works like one. President Trump has put pressure on China, asking them to handle North Korea, and if they cannot, stay out the way of the United States’ “fire and fury” when we do. President Trump is also angry at China taking economic advantage of the United States. His patience has worn thin with them. If they don’t do something about North Korea soon, President Trump will implement tariffs. Economists, and nearly everyone in the political world, do not believe that tariffs will work. They also didn’t believe Donald Trump would become President. President Trump likely knows that tariffs won’t help boost the economy much. But look at our economy already. Without President Trump’s first budget, without tax cuts, without comprehensive tax reform, without a repeal of Obamacare, without an infrastructure plan pumping millions into the economy; we have 3% GDP growth. Imagine all of those in place, imagine this economy flying high. You think some tariffs will hurt? Marginally, if at all. China should fear tariffs, meaning that China better get to work on de-escalating the North Korea situation, or there will be consequences.

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon

I completely believe this a strategic leak, because Johnathon Swan of Axios is the same who broke the story that Steve Bannon is ready to go to war for President Trump. Now this latest story about the tariffs has a second part to it the media has covered little of, that relates exactly to the Bannon story. Trump said the dreaded word, the one the media cannot explain. Globalists. Yes, globalists.

“John, let me tell you why they didn’t bring me any tariffs,” he said. “I know there are some people in the room right now that are upset. I know there are some globalists in the room right now. And they don’t want them, John, they don’t want the tariffs. But I’m telling you, I want tariffs.”

The media had a get-out-jail-free card because they only had to explain tariffs, they didn’t have to explain what globalism is, and how it has ruined the America’s economy, immigration policy, and foreign policy. The media was also oddly quiet on Steve Bannon’s last quote, also delivered by Axios:

A source familiar with Breitbart’s operations told me they would go “thermonuclear” against “globalists that Bannon and his friends believe are ruining the Trump administration, and by extension, America.

The media has said little of globalism, and President Trump hasn’t directly said ‘globalism’ in a while. You could almost understand why his base, mostly nationalists, are worried that the globalists have hijacked this administration. This leak clearly shows to his base that no, he has not stopped his war on globalism.

The mainstream media’s radio silence on globalism just shows they are not ready to defend the remaining bits of the ideology that the Trump Administration has not destroyed yet. Last time the mainstream media took on Trump’s comments on globalism, they accused him of antisemitism. Candidate Trump’s October speech on international bankers who are working to destroy our country and with Hillary Clinton was met with claim’s of antisemitism, giving fuel to the sick fantasies of the Alt-Right that “the Jews run the world.”

The American people know that media narrative is a load of nonsense. That speech was a major turning point in the campaign, it was what personally got me to cast my vote for Trump. The media has played their race card enough, now their defense of globalism will be impossible, as it collapses before their very eyes.

This leak, whether intentional or not, has strategic leverage for The Trump Administration. The war on Globalism is on. The MAGA Agenda is alive and well.

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About the Author

Justin Farrell
Justin is Conservative and accounting student looking for a career in law enforcement. He is a Correspondent/Editor for Halsey News Network, as well as our in-house meme master. Send any tips or inquiries to and be sure to follow me on Twitter @JustinatHalsey