Trump, Swedish PM clash over looming metals tariffs

by Abel Hampton March 8, 2018, 1:22
Trump, Swedish PM clash over looming metals tariffs

By Lalit K Jha Washington, Mar 7 (PTI) US President Donald Trump today suggested paper ballot as�a backup system for election amid allegations of external interference or meddling in the electoral process of a country.

Trump, who has refrained from pointing a finger at Moscow, acknowledged that Russian Federation interfered in the presidential election but said it had no impact on the US vote tally. When asked about urging from Republican leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that he back away from his pledge to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, Trump was defiant, repeating a frequent claim from the campaign trail and even earlier that the US has been taken advantage of by other countries.

In January, the Trump administration was harshly criticized for not imposing new sanctions when a list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 oligarchs was released to comply with a law Congress passed to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 US election. "We're doing a very, very deep study, and we're coming out with some I think very strong suggestions on the '18 election", he added.

This week, it was revealed the US State Department has yet to use tens of millions of dollars in funding that lawmakers allocated to counter Russian misinformation and propaganda, even as intelligence chiefs have warned that Russia is actively targeting the 2018 midterm elections. They say Americans will face higher costs for new cars, appliances and buildings if the president follows through on his threat and other nations retaliate.

Hours later, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who has opposed the tariffs, announced his plans to depart the White House, another signal that the president intends to go through with the penalties.

"You don't want your system of votes to be compromised in any way", Trump said. It's called paper. Not highly complex computers. "They'll like us better and they'll respect us much more", he said. "I like watching it, I like seeing it".

Trump said over the weekend that attempts by the European Union to take reciprocal steps would prompt him to apply new tariffs on automobile imports. "Whatever they do, we'll counteract it very strongly", the president said.

Trump downplayed the risks of a trade war on Tuesday, and said his proposals wouldn't be draconian. Trump has said talks between the United States and North Korea must only begin after Pyongyang agrees to denuclearization, but on Tuesday said he believes North Korea is being honest in its attempts to broker peace with the South.

"I can't believe I made that statement", before I got elected. "And we are having strong backup systems", he said.

Unlike the United States, Sweden has a diplomatic relationship with North Korea.

After intelligence officials concluded that Russian hackers breached the DNC in the summer of 2016, then-candidate Trump said, "I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China".

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