Trump Won’t Pull U.S. Out of NAFTA After All

President Donald Trump has announced that he will not pull the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, despite numerous promises to do so. Trump informed the leaders of Mexico and Canada of his decision Wednesday, and the White House later confirmed that the president had “agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time." The surprise move comes after Trump railed against the trade agreement throughout his campaign and into his presidency, repeatedly vowing to pull the U.S. out of the deal, which he called a “disaster" for American workers. Trump was widely expected to sign an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA on Wednesday. Instead, he has reportedly agreed with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to renegotiate the trade deal to “the benefit of all three countries." Trump expressed optimism about the plans, saying he thinks a renegotiated deal will “make all three countries stronger and better," the Associated Press reported.

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The Daily Beast CHEAT SHEET
AM
EDITION
27
Apr
 
1. U-TURN
Trump Won’t Pull U.S. Out of NAFTA
President Donald Trump has announced that he will not pull the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, despite numerous promises to do so. Trump informed the leaders of Mexico and Canada of his decision Wednesday, and the White House later confirmed that the president had “agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time." The surprise move comes after Trump railed against the trade agreement throughout his campaign and into his presidency, repeatedly vowing to pull the U.S. out of the deal, which he called a “disaster" for American workers. Trump was widely expected to sign an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA on Wednesday. Instead, he has reportedly agreed with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to renegotiate the trade deal to “the benefit of all three countries." Trump expressed optimism about the plans, saying he thinks a renegotiated deal will “make all three countries stronger and better," the Associated Press reported.
READ IT AT AP  
 
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Trump Stumps With Newt the NAFTA Champ
BY Betsy Woodruff and Alexa Corse
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. ENDLESS WAR
Syria: Israeli Strike Hits Near Airport
Syrian state media claimed Thursday that an Israeli missile strike caused an explosion and fire at a military site near Damascus’s airport. However, Syrian rebel sources told the BBC that the target was an arms depot controlled by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement—an ally of the Assad regime that Israel has consistently targeted in its attempt to prevent Iranian weapons smuggling to the anti-Israel organization. The Israeli government, however, did not confirm it was responsible for the strike.
READ IT AT BBC News  
 
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US Winks at Assad, Then He ‘Gasses’ Kids
BY Michael Weiss, Kimberly Dozier, and Roy Gutman
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. MEDIA CONSULTING
Trump ‘Huddles’ With Drudge at White House
According to Politico, President Trump has met with famed right-wing news aggregator Matt Drudge to discuss his administration. “Trump huddled in the Oval Office with Matt Drudge, the reclusive operator of the influential Drudge Report, to talk about his administration and the site," the D.C.-based outlet reported Thursday. “Drudge and [Jared] Kushner have also begun to communicate frequently, said people familiar with the conversations. Drudge, whose visits to the White House haven’t previously been reported, didn’t respond to a request for comment." Politico points to the visits as an example of Trump’s  fixation with ingratiating himself with favorable media outlets amid turmoil in his first 100 days as president.
READ IT AT Politico   
 
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Drudge Fuels Trump Russia Counter-Attack
BY Gideon Resnick and Ben Collins
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. UPPING THEIR GAME
United Raises Seat Bump Limit to $10K
United Airlines will raise the limit on its payment to customers who are asked to give up their seats on oversold flights to $10,000, the carrier announced Thursday. The rule change came as part of a company report into to a video of a passenger being violently dragged from his seat on an overbooked flight from Chicago. The airline has also vowed to increase training for its gate agents and flight attendants and to no longer call on police officials to deal with similar situations. Prior to raising its compensation limit, United’s ceiling on compensation for an overbooked flight was $1,350. Additionally, United said it will send displaced passengers or crew members to nearby airports, book them on a different airline, or arrange for any additional car transportation to help get them to their destination.
READ IT AT AP  
 
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5. JUST GO AWAY
Fox Host Takes ‘Vacation’ After Outcry
Fox News host Jesse Watters on Wednesday evening announced he will take an abrupt “vacation" from The Five, the prime-time show he co-hosts with four others, the day after he faced widespread backlash for his comments about Ivanka Trump. “I’m going to be taking a vacation with my family, so I’m not going to be here tomorrow," Watters said on the show without explaining why. “I’ll be back on Monday, so don’t miss me too much." During Tuesday evening’s broadcast of the show, Watters—best-known as recently fired host Bill O’Reilly’s protégé—remarked on the way first daughter Ivanka Trump held a microphone during a women’s rights event in Germany. “It’s funny. The left says they really respect women and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that they boo and hiss… so I don’t really get what’s going on here, but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone," he said, gesturing with his hand towards his mouth before flashing a schoolboy grin at his co-hosts. The following morning, Watters claimed it was not sexual innuendo: “During the break, we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ," he tweeted. “This was in no way a joke about anything else." However, Fox News must’ve found the backlash to be alarming enough, as Watters’ abrupt vacation means he will miss two evenings of his new prime-time weeknight slot plus his weekend show Watters’ World.
READ IT AT The Hill  
 
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6. FALSE FLAG
German Soldier Held for ‘Terror Plans’
A German soldier has been arrested for allegedly planning a terror attack, prosecutors in the country announced Thursday. The as-yet-unnamed 28-year-old was reportedly arrested at the Bundeswehr base in Bavaria’s Hammelburg after police obtained evidence from 16 locations in three different countries—including the fact that he used an alias to falsely register as a Syrian refugee in Germany and was granted asylum. The soldier also allegedly hid an illegal, loaded weapon in a bathroom at Vienna’s airport and was briefly arrested when he returned to retrieve the gun. According to Deutsche Welle, “Investigators believe the lieutenant was motivated by a ‘xenophobic background’ to plan an attack, possibly on migrants and refugees."
READ IT AT DW.com  
 
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7. SO MUCH WINNING
Trump Backs Off Another Funding Demand
As President Trump’s latest concession to avoid a government shutdown, the White House has backed off its plan to nix funding for Affordable Care Act cost-sharing payments that benefit lower-income people. The White House had previously backed off its demand for funding for Trump’s desired Mexican border wall, as lawmakers race to come to an agreement before a temporary government-funding bill expires Friday at midnight. Even with control of both houses of Congress, Republicans are expected to only be able to come up with a short-term funding extension, as key policy disputes make up significant cross-partisan roadblocks.
READ IT AT AP  
 
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8. GOOD LUCK
Cosby: I Hope to Resume Career
Bill Cosby told a news service that he is working on new material and hopes to resume his comedy career just a month before jury selection begins in his Pennsylvania sexual-assault trial. “I think about walking out on stage somewhere in the United States of America and sitting down in a chair and giving the performance that will be the beginning of the next chapter of my career," Cosby said in what his publicist described as an email exchange with the National Newspaper Publishers Association that began several months ago. The upcoming trial involves former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who said she was drugged and sexually assaulted in 2004 at Cosby’s home. 
READ IT AT AP  
 
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9. CONDEMNED
PA Ambush Killer Gets Death Penalty
A jury delivered the death sentence late Wednesday against a gunman convicted of shooting two Pennsylvania state troopers in a late-night ambush on their barracks in 2014. One of the troopers was killed in the attack, while the second was left with major injuries. Prosecutors said 33-year-old Eric Frein had been hoping to start an uprising against the government when he launched the attack on the Blooming Grove barracks in the Pocono Mountains. After several hours of deliberations Wednesday, a jury sided with District Attorney Ray Tonkin, who told the court that “full justice is sentencing this defendant to death." In a tradition dating back to the 1800s, the Pike County sheriff rang a bell on top of the courthouse eight times after the sentencing was announced to alert the public that Frein had been condemned to death. Frein’s lawyers had tried to dissuade jurors from issuing a death sentence by portraying him as a victim of an unhealthy childhood with an abusive father. His lawyers promised to seek an appeal. With a moratorium on capital punishment imposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, it is unlikely that Frein would face lethal injection any time in the near future.
READ IT AT Pocono Record  
 
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10. EMBARRASSING
Gorka’s Career in Hungary Under Scrutiny
Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s national-security aide known for his ties to far-right fringe groups and past at Breitbart News, had a lackluster political career in Hungary before his rise in Washington, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday. Gorka was denied a security clearance to work in the Hungarian parliament in 2002 and generally seen as a wannabe in Hungary’s political circles, the report said. He immigrated to the U.S. just two years after a failed mayoral bid in a small Hungarian town, according to the report. Sources interviewed described an embarrassing series of political failures before Gorka rose to become a member of Trump’s team. One member of the Hungarian counterintelligence service was cited in the article dismissing Gorka as a “peddler of snake oil."  Gorka has yet to comment on the report, which raises new questions about his qualifications to work in the White House. Appointed by Trump to focus on counterterrorism, Gorka is accused by at least one Hungarian agent in the report of greatly exaggerating his experience in the field by citing a short stint in a British volunteer force that was described as “a bit of a joke." The intelligence officer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter. His account of Gorka’s brief foray into Hungary’s counterintelligence world matched that of former Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky. Jeszenszky told BuzzFeed he thinks he might have been the one to hire Gorka, but hinted that the U.K.-born Hungarian had proved disappointing. “Some people turned out not to be usable," Jeszenszky was quoted as saying.
READ IT AT BuzzFeed News  
 
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