RECAP: 28 March 2018

President Donald Trump covered a wide variety of topics from his official Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, on Wednesday. He shared his on thoughts the Second Amendment, foreign relations, trade deals, immigration, and yet another shake-up to his cabinet.

The president began his day by responding to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ New York Times op-ed arguing for the repeal of the second amendment.

His response comes as no surprise- any Republican suggesting the repeal of the Second Amendment would immediately be abandoned by their constituents. His assertion that Republicans “must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court” is troubling, however, because of his refusal to recognize the importance of bipartisan compromise in an issue so divisive.

President Trump went on to discuss the recent developments in diplomatic relations with North Korea.

While a date for their meeting has not yet been determined, the president recently accepted an invitation to meet face-to-face with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. News of Kim’s recent meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, however, may prove to complicate the meeting.

While the details of the meeting between Xi and Un remain unclear, the meeting itself alludes to North Korea’s desire to increase their leverage ahead of the impending sit-down with Trump. Should trade talks between the United States and China sour during the lead-up to the meeting and cause tensions to rise amid concerns of a trade war, China’s looming presence will certainly be felt.

The president went on to announce an agreement between the United States and South Korea on a new trade deal.

The trade deal is the Trump administration’s first, and was pushed for by the president largely because of the U.S.’s ever-increasing auto trade deficit with South Korea. It comes after a renegotiation of a deal between the two countries that came into effect in 2012. The deal will double the maximum number of automobiles that each U.S. manufacturer is allowed to export to South Korea, while South Korea received a permanent exemption from Trump’s new 25 percent tariff on steel.

Moving from foreign relations to immigration policy, the president continued by tweeting in solidarity with the members of the Orange County, Calif. board of supervisors following their vote to oppose the state’s “sanctuary” law, which limits cooperation between police and federal immigration authorities.

The sanctuary law is a complex legal issue only further exacerbated by the partisan divide on immigration policy. But states are required to cooperate with federal immigration authorities only if they accept federal funding (i.e.the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) with cooperation as a provision.

Trump followed up with a tweet touting the start of construction on one of his key campaign promises.

The $1.3 trillion spending bill signed by the president last week includes approximately $1.6 billion for border security. Unhappy with the lack of funding allocated for his proposed border wall, Trump expressed his disdain for the bill on Twitter last week shortly after it became law. According to reports on Tuesday, he has discussed the idea of funding construction of the wall through the U.S. military budget.

In his final tweets of the day, Trump announced his nomination of Navy and-now-former White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson as Secretary of Veterans Affairs following his dismissal of Dr. David Shulkin.

While Jackson has served in Iraq during his career in the military and in the White House dating back to the Bush administration, he lacks experience in both politics and the intricacies of the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy.

Shulkin’s firing should come as no surprise, however, as he was the lone remnant of the Obama administration clinging to membership in Trump’s cabinet. He is the second member of the president’s cabinet to be fired this week following John Bolton’s replacement of Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security advisor.

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