Trump Breaks With GOP, Sparking New Tensions

President Trump is publicly breaking with congressional Republicans on trade and guns, causing tensions within the party at a time when lawmakers hope to be united ahead of the midterm elections. 

Republican strategists and nonpartisan political experts say Trump appears to be looking beyond this fall’s elections, when GOP control of Congress is at stake, to his own bid for a second term in 2020.

The announcement on Thursday of the tariffs, which have yet to formally be put in place, came shortly after Trump said that Brad Parscale, his longtime digital marketing strategist, would be his 2020 reelection campaign manager.

While there have been no significant polls on the tariffs so far, Trump’s populist positions on trade were popular in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that sealed his victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.   

“He’s fighting for the industrial Midwest, which is essentially the key for him to win reelection, and this is obviously something where he is putting their interests first while everyone else is pooh-poohing the idea of fighting for the American worker,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.

Read more from Alex Bolton at The Hill

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