After Trump epically screwed up and appeared to admit regrets about the trade war, the White House doubled down and threatened even more tariffs.
Video of Trump appearing to express regret about the trade war:
The White House is trying to clean up a major disaster as Trump was three times if he had any regrets about the trade war and he said yes. pic.twitter.com/Yl2KlFEB7S
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 25, 2019
The White House went into damage control mode and claimed that Trump didn’t hear the question:
Watch Mnuchin and Kudlow flail as they try to spin Trump having second thoughts about the trade war. pic.twitter.com/QUlX69589E
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 25, 2019
The White House could and should have dropped the matter at this point, but they had to go a step beyond and make things worse by releasing a statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, “This morning in the bilat with the UK, the President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China’. His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.”
Trump was afraid of looking weak on the trade war, so the White House did the worst thing possible at his direction. They doubled down on their threats. The president has already sent the stock market crashing down on multiple occasions with his tariff threats, and it would have been so easy for the administration to say that the president didn’t hear the question, so his answer was reflective of his position on trade with China.
Since Trump always has to compound his screw-ups, he responded by making US economic uncertainty worse.