* Today’s school shooting: “The sprawling Central Michigan University campus was on lockdown Friday after two people were killed and police were hunting for an ‘armed and dangerous’ gunman, university police confirmed.”
* On a related note: “A seventh-grader who shot and killed himself inside an Ohio middle school restroom last week was planning to shoot others at the school before changing his mind at the last second, a police chief said Thursday.”
* Hmm: “The Securities and Exchange Commission late last year dropped its inquiry into a financial company that a month earlier had given White House adviser Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm a $180 million loan.”
* Donald Trump’s lawyers have urged him “not to discuss details of the unfolding Russia investigation with anyone outside his legal team, warning of a conversational ‘bright line’ that could put aides and associates in legal jeopardy, according to current and former Trump aides. But Trump often ignores that legal advice in the presence of senior aides — including his departing confidante and White House communications director, Hope Hicks.”
* Greitens’ other controversy: “Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is investigating the veterans charity that scandal-plagued Gov. Eric Greitens founded eleven years ago.”
* FCC: “Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday turned down an NRA gun award he received at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, citing the advice of ethics officials at his agency.”
* This NLRB story may be a little obscure, but it’s interesting: “First, it reversed an Obama-era rule helping workers challenge the labor practices of big chains. On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its reversal. The move will make it easier to hold companies responsible for labor law violations committed by franchisees and contractors.”
When it comes to the administration’s trade policies, Trump World is deeply divided. Many of the president’s top advisers on the economy, foreign pollicy, and national security teams have urged him not to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. On the other hand, Donald Trump himself seems to like the idea, as do some in the Commerce Department.
The divisions were on display early yesterday when competing White House factions sent wildly contradictory signals to the press about what the president would do.
Overnight, however, Trump made clear to the public that he’d picked a side, announcing that he not only wants to start an international trade war, he also believes “trade wars are good and easy to win.”
What we didn’t know was that this president — who has an astonishing habit of blindsiding his own team with surprise policy pronouncements — made this decision “without any internal review by government lawyers or his own staff.” In fact, NBC News reports today that Trump announced his decision after a meeting with executives from the aluminum and steel industries.