WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) – Controversial steel and aluminum tariffs were just a couple of items on the White House agenda Thursday.
There were also questions about President Donald Trump’s relationship with his attorney general and new reaction to the president’s statements on gun control.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported the White House has been trying to control various messages, but it’s been in turmoil. Trump’s communications chief Hope Hicks is stepping down, and the president himself has been feuding with his attorney general.
“We have with us the biggest steel companies in the United States,” he said. “They’ve been very unfairly treated by bad policy, by bad trade deals, by other countries.”
The president said the United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum to shore up the struggling industries. But he did not provide any details on the controversial plan – for example, whether certain countries might be exempt.
He only insisted he wants to stand up for U.S. jobs.
“Our workers in our country have not been properly represented,” he said.
Trump also presided over an opioids summit and said the administration will be rolling out policy over the next few weeks that will be strong.
“Hopefully we can do some litigation against the opioid companies. I think that’s very important, because a lot of the states are doing it. But I keep saying, if the states are doing it, why isn’t the federal government doing it?” he said.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions attended the summit – a day after the present insulted him on Twitter, calling him disgraceful.
Sessions hardly got a ringing endorsement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders when she was asked about the president’s views on Sessions’ status.
Reporter: “Does the president want to get rid of the attorney general?”
Sanders: “Not that I’m aware of.”
Concerning school shootings, Sanders said the president will hold a meeting with members of the of the video game industry next week to discuss stemming violence. This comes as Democrats saluted the president’s call Wednesday for tougher gun controls.
“I’d like to give credit where credit is due. The president said a lot of things right yesterday,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said
There’s already push-back from Republicans on the tariff issue. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement he hopes the president will considered the unintended consequences and look at other ideas before moving forward.