Donald Trump Is Mad at China

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This is, naturally, insane:

Senior U.S. officials are beginning to explore proposals for punishing or demanding financial compensation from China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to four senior administration officials with knowledge of internal planning….President Trump has fumed to aides and others in recent days about China, blaming that country for withholding information about the virus, and has discussed enacting dramatic measures that would likely lead to retaliation by Beijing, these people said.

In private, Trump and aides have discussed stripping China of its “sovereign immunity,” aiming to enable the U.S. government or victims to sue China for damages. George Sorial, who formerly served as a top executive at the Trump Organization and is now involved in a class-action lawsuit against China, told The Washington Post he and senior White House officials have discussed limiting China’s sovereign immunity. Legal experts say an attempt to limit China’s sovereign immunity would be extremely difficult to accomplish and may require Congressional legislation.

However, the real issue here isn’t that Trump is nuts. We’ve known that for a long time. The issue is that he’s successfully surrounded himself with people who are willing to encourage his temper tantrums and an entire party that’s not willing to face up to him.

For now, this is probably just an instinctive lashing out, a play to his base. But if we’re unlucky, and events unroll the wrong way, it could get a lot worse.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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