Thursday’s Mini-Report, 5.31.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Trump thinks trade wars are easy to win: “The Trump administration on Thursday slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, prompting outrage from America’s closest allies and major trading partners and setting off a trade war that could see U.S. consumers pay more for everything from canned soup to cars.”

* Pen pals: “President Donald Trump, who is trying to revive a June 12 summit with North Korea that he canceled last week, said Thursday that a North Korean delegation in New York is coming to Washington to bring him a letter from leader Kim Jong Un.”

* Europe: “After a seesaw week that spooked financial markets, Italy’s president on Thursday gave a green light to a government of populist parties that would put Europe’s fourth largest economy into the hands of leaders deeply antagonistic to the European Union, its currency and illegal migrants.”

* EPA: “The Trump administration took a major step toward dramatically weakening an Obama-era rule designed to cut pollution from vehicle tailpipes, setting the stage for a legal clash with California that could potentially split the nation’s auto market in two.”

* In case you missed Rachel’s coverage on this last night: “The former acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of Mr. McCabe’s predecessor, James B. Comey, according to several people familiar with the discussion.”

* All does not appear to be well at HUD: “Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will name the son of his close friend and business associate as deputy chief of staff, the department confirmed Wednesday.”

* Before signing a “right to try” bill on experimental medical treatments, Donald Trump said he expects the policy will save “hundreds of thousands” of lives. There’s no reason to take that figure seriously.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.