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Hours after President Donald Trump admitted to having “second thoughts” about escalating the ongoing trade conflict with China, the White House issued a statement asserting the president’s remarks had been “greatly misinterpreted” ― and that he’d actually been expressing regret at “not raising the tariffs higher.”
Speaking to reporters ahead of a Sunday breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G-7 summit, Trump was asked if he was rethinking his recent decision to again escalate tariffs on Chinese goods.
“Might as well. Might as well,” he said, when asked again. “I have second thoughts about everything.”
Reporter at G7: “Mr. President, any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?”Trump: “Yeah, sure. Why not?” pic.twitter.com/FYhF7FHr4p
The Washington Post reported that Trump’s remarks represented the first time that the president had expressed regret over the worsening trade war ― a clash that has escalated dramatically in recent days, prompting fears of an impending global recession.
Reporter at G7: “Mr. President, any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?”— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 25, 2019
Trump: “Yeah, sure. Why not?” pic.twitter.com/FYhF7FHr4p
A wild statement from @PressSec: “The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China’. His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.”— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) August 25, 2019
Trump adds that while he can do it, he has no plans to declare a national emergency on China right now. Says “Actually we’re getting along very well with China right now. We’re talking. I think they want to make a deal much more than I do”— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) August 25, 2019
UK prime minister Boris Johnson tells Trump he's not a fan of the trade war with China:— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) August 25, 2019
"Our view on the trade war -- we're in favor of trade peace on the whole, dialing it down."
(Moments earlier, asked if any allies expressed regret, Trump said, "Nobody would tell me that.")
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