Trump announces steel tariffs will be lifted – live updates

/ CBS News

CBSN

President Trump is speaking before the National Association of Realtors Friday afternoon, the day after introducing an immigration plan which many in Congress believe is dead on arrival.

Mr. Trump began his speech by announcing that the U.S. would be lifting steel and aluminum tariffs.

"We've just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and we'll be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs or major tariffs," Mr. Trump said. He expressed hope that Congress will approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

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Mr. Trump, who has a background as a real estate mogul, spent much of his speech praising realtors and other members of the real estate industry. He acknowledged that his speech was "all off-cuff," because he knew more about how to talk to realtors.

The president also spoke extensively about the economy. Bragging about low unemployment among women, Mr. Trump joked that "men should sue the women for discrimination."

The president pent much of Friday morning preoccupied on Twitter with Attorney General William Barr's assertion that the Trump campaign was surveilled.

"My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning.

In two separate interviews, Barr maintained that illegal spying did take place, a claim he made in Senate testimony last month. In a conversation with Fox News' Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom," Barr suggested that he wanted to get to the bottom of whether "government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale" during the Russia investigation. He criticized unnamed officials as providing "inadequate" explanations for what took place.

In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, Barr appeared more certain, asserting, "Government power was used to spy on American citizens."

The attorney general's assertion of spying, however, has been twice denied by current and former FBI officials. When asked directly about Barr's claims before Congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Appropriations Committee that he wasn't aware of any illegal "spying" on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Former FBI Director James Comey also maintained that he had "no idea" what Barr was talking about when he brought up the claim of unauthorized spying.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump introduced his plan to prioritize high-skilled immigrants and restrict family-based migration a proposal that would drastically change the composition of immigrants to the U.S. However, the president's plan won't include any protections for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children. It's unclear if a single Democrat has been consulted on the plan so far, and some Republicans have offered tepid responses to the proposal.

Asked Wednesday how failing to first confer with Democrats or include anything on so-called "Dreamers" amounts to anything more than a reelection strategy, the official said, "If they don't want to engage then it would be part of the election. If they want to engage, it could be part of the negotiation. That's going to be up to them."

Kathryn Watson, Emily Tillett and Grace Segers contributed to this report

First published on May 17, 2019 / 2:21 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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