Closed-Door Meeting Leaves GOP, WH Far Apart On Tariffs As Deadline Looms

President Donald Trump chats with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) upon arrival at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 13, 2018. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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June 5, 2019 7:44 a.m.

A closed-door lunch Tuesday with Senate Republicans and administration officials left lawmakers feeling confused and concerned, as President Donald Trump’s people spoke in ambiguities despite the looming tariff decision.

According to a Politico report, Republicans spent the lunch hammering White House deputy counsel Pat Philbin and Assistant Attorney General Steve Engel about their dislike of tariffs, threatening a veto-proof vote to nullify Trump’s national emergency declaration.

Some Republicans, more wary of defying the President, came away frustrated, as the officials could only speak in broad-strokes about alternate plans. Trump and most of his Cabinet are currently in the UK, leaving behind few people with decision-making power to caucus with the Republicans.

Trump has said he’ll decide whether or not to levy tariffs on Mexico in less than a week.

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