This morning’s Sunday shows remind me of that “Naked Gun” scene where Frank Drebin tries to do crowd control in front of a burning fireworks store. The fireworks in this case are being supplied by the president, who’s already onto round two of escalating tariffs on China. The job of his top economic advisors, Larry Kudlow and Steve Mnuchin, is to stand in front of him and assure everyone that there’ll be no trade war, as if either of them has the slightest idea what POTUS is going to do at a given moment. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Kudlow’s on tap for “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday” while Mnuchin will do the honors on “Face the Nation.” The man to watch, though, is Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, an infrequent Sunday-show guest. What’s Rounds doing on the air today? Simple: Two of the top targets in China’s retaliatory tariffs aimed at the U.S. are soybeans and corn, which will hit his home state hard. So Rounds is following the new playbook in Washington: If you want to make an impression on the president, you’re well advised to talk to him through the TV. He’ll be the lead guest on “Meet the Press” to try to drive home the point that POTUS’s fan base in heartland America, usually so loyal, might not stand by him on this.
If you’re bored with trade war, real war is the subject elsewhere this morning. Trump counterterror advisor Tom Bossert will be on “This Week” to discuss the sudden new plan for withdrawal from Syria followed by Lindsey Graham doing his usual “there’s no such thing as a good withdrawal” shtick. The full line-up is at the AP.