Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Risking a trade war: “President Donald Trump on Thursday directed his top trade representative to level an estimated $50 billion in new tariffs against Chinese goods, taking his latest action against what he sees as unfair trade practices even as markets remain skittish about a possible trade war.”
* Investors noticed: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 700 points Thursday as losses accelerated late in the session, pushing the blue-chip gauge beneath a psychologically significant level at 24,000.”
* What’s left of his legal team disagrees: “President Donald Trump said Thursday that he still ‘would like’ to testify before special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”
* The final House vote on the omnibus spending bill wasn’t close. The Senate has until tomorrow at midnight to prevent a shutdown.
* The banking angle to this story matters: “Stormy Daniels’ lawyer is demanding that the Trump Organization preserve all records related to the adult film actress and he plans to subpoena them – citing ‘unmistakable links’ between President Donald Trump’s company and a secrecy agreement she signed.”
* I sure hope you saw Rachel’s segment on this: “A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to interviews and previously undisclosed documents.”
* Border Patrol: “President Trump has called for a wall along the border with Mexico to stop undocumented immigrants and drugs from entering the United States. But Border Patrol agents on the front lines say they need more technology and additional personnel to curb the illegal traffic, according to a report released on Thursday by Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.”
* A bill worth keeping an eye on: “The House approved ‘right-to-try’ legislation on Wednesday that would bypass drug regulators and give critically ill patients access to experimental treatments, a victory for Republicans after the same bill got sidetracked last week.”
* Would anyone else accept the job? “Kellyanne Conway is moving closer to accepting President Donald Trump’s offer for her to succeed Hope Hicks as White House communications director, if only on an interim basis, according to multiple sources who have spoken with her.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.