Leaked Audio: Does Trump Want to Pressure Foreign Powers With Food Inspection?

The president finally appears to reveal his food safety plans.

<a href="http://www.gettyimages.com/license/536831803" target="_blank">AlexRaths</a>/iStock

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President Donald J. Trump’s attitude toward food safety has so far been somewhat mysterious. Last year, during his campaign, he announced plans to rein in the “FDA food police”—but then the statement disappeared from the campaign website.

The plot thickens: Today, Gizmodo published “what appears to be a leaked phone conversation between Trump and Wilbur Ross, his nominee for Commerce Secretary.” In the recording, which metadata suggests was recorded at Ross’ office on December 13, 2016, Trump pitches the idea of using the threat of increased food inspection as a tool to pressure foreign powers on trade deals:

TRUMP: If you look at Japan, what they do with food—they say it’s not clean enough, and you have to send it back, and by the time it comes back it’s all gone.

ROSS: Exactly. And we oughta let them know we’re gonna start playing the same game.

TRUMP: Well I think you let them know that we’re going to do that. Without saying that, you say, “We’re gonna inspect you so closely,” bomp bomp.

ROSS: Yeah. That’s the thing—not to say that it’s punitive, but in the interest of American safety.

Gizmodo has more here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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