March 15, 2018

CNBC's John Harwood joined Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle to debunk Donald Trump's lies to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a trade deficit with Canada.

He was blunt.

"The president's mindset is that he thinks about goods as the only relevant thing in this equation," Harwood noted. "Of course, they're not. Services are incredibly important. In fact, services are one of the huge sources of American exports across the world."

Service exports, as we shift to a service-based economy from a manufacturing economy, are the key to global trade in general.

"But the president's worldview is sort of -- as reflected in his comment on things like coal and steel, has to do with factories and images of people digging things out of the ground, and doesn't take account for what the modern economy actually is," he continued.

"That's why it was so extraordinary that he, on the tape we just heard, admitted he was BS'ing when he went back and forth with Justin Trudeau."

Velshi observed that the move toward a knowledge economy is one that could boost wages for workers.

"[Trump] makes buildings. He thinks about physical construction, physical manufacture as what trade is actually all about. Even though it's not," Harwood countered.

As to Trump's honesty or utter lack of it, he said, "[Trump is] aggressive about not informing himself about policy issues, about shifts in the economy."

"It's why he, you know, continues to talk about how he's going to bring steel and coal jobs back, even though he's not going to do that. Steel tariffs may have a marginal impact, but the fate of the steel industry as a proportion of the US economy, we know what that story is. The same with coal. Coal is dwindling for reasons that are partly environmental and partly economic."

"There is nothing he or anybody else can do to reverse that. He continues to talk about that because he is striking emotional chords that he thinks means something with his base. That's part of why he is out of step with so many voters," he concluded.

They wrapped up with the faint hope that Larry Kudlow (!!!) would hopefully help set Trump straight, but there's a more fundamental question here: How on earth can Trump say things like this and expect to conduct a negotiation with anyone, much less a country like North Korea?

This to me is an utter disaster of epic proportions. The "President" of the United States is heard on an audio recording bragging about dishing up a plate of BS to one of our closest allies and trading partners, as if he just presented his poopy diaper to Mommy! Debunking the lie is the very least anyone can do. There ought to be an outcry on both sides of the aisle about this and in the media, but they're so busy normalizing President Pussygrabber they've forgotten the fate of the nation is at stake.

Larry Kudlow isn't going to fix that, or much of anything else. Republicans can, but they won't. They're too interested in being in smash-and-grab mode.

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