Trump Demands Tariffs and Blames “Globalists” for Delay, Exposing More Internal Tension

A Recently Leaked Discussion Between the President And Key Advisors Exposes Internal Strife

President Donald Trump made himself clear in one of his first meetings with his new chief of staff, John Kelly, where he repeatedly demanded that he wanted tariffs imposed against China, claiming that “globalists” in the room and others were against the move and that his staff won’t “bring me any tariffs.”

“So, John, I want you to know, this is my view,” the president said, according to the leak first reported by Axios, “I want tariffs. And I want someone to bring me some tariffs.”

Trump also claimed that “China is laughing at us,” and mentioned multiple times that he was keen on seeing tariffs imposed on what he has long described as an economic threat to the U.S.


The meeting was called to discuss Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property, which some have estimated is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but Trump quickly pivoted towards the lack of tariffs that he had received and his anger in their absence.

But perhaps most importantly, the leak exposed yet another example of an administration plagued by infighting and mistrust among its members.

“I know there are some globalists in the room right now,” the president said. “And they don’t want them, John, they don’t want the tariffs. But I’m telling you, I want tariffs.”

The fight between “globalists” and nationalists within the Trump ad is well documented, with members belonging to both camps being ousted over the past seven months.

The most recent—and perhaps most prominent—member of the nationalist camp to get the boot was Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who returned to Breitbart News following his departure from the White House.

Despite this, however, it is clear from this meeting that Trump still has a number of nationalist views, particularly when it comes to trade. Trump has favored a protectionist strategy, which includes higher tariffs and a focus on American-made goods over international trade. China, specifically, has been a target of his ire since his early campaign days.

At the very least, the leak exposes a White House that is hardly stable and a president who feels that he is being sidelined by some members of his own staff.



Exclusive: Trump vents in Oval Office, “I want tariffs. Bring me some tariffs!”,” Axios, August 27, 2017.