Fri, Mar. 31, 2017: Trump signs executive orders on reducing trade deficit (after walking out on Oval Office ceremony)

President Trump walked out on his own Oval Office signing ceremony without actually signing his two executive orders on trade.

Trump’s abrupt departure from Friday’s ceremony came after a reporter shouted questions about the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who has offered to testify before Congress on Russian involvement in the U.S. election in return for immunity from prosecution.

Flynn resigned from the job in February amid revelations he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Reporters reacted with surprise when Trump left the room without signing his orders. Brian Teff of ABC Action News in Philadelphia called it “a hugely awkward moment.”

Pence, also appearing surprised, picked up the orders and followed Trump out of the Oval Office, tweeted CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller.

The White House said Trump later signed the orders in another room. The orders were aimed at reducing the nation’s trade deficit by cracking down on “foreign importers that cheat,” the president said.

–Erin Kelly , USA TODAY

Fri, Mar. 31, 2017: Trump makes announcement on economic confidence with National Association of Manufacturers

President Donald Trump announced that a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers showed the highest level of economic confidence from business leaders in the industry.

In a White House meeting, Trump announced that 93% of manufacturing industry executives surveyed by NAM, a lobbying group for the manufacturing industry, said they were optimistic on the future of the economy. Additionally, Trump said that “just a few months ago” that number was at 56%.

“It’s a surge of optimism that is spreading all across our land,” Trump said. “These survey results are another vote of confidence in our plan that will bring back jobs, lower taxes, and provide a level playing field our workers.”

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Fri, Mar. 31, 2017: Trump backs Flynn seeking immunity from ‘witch hunt’

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday supported the decision of his former national security adviser to seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony in congressional probes of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Retired General Michael Flynn wants protection against “unfair prosecution” if he testifies before the intelligence committees of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, his lawyer, Robert Kelner, said on Thursday.

“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!” Trump wrote in a tweet. Continue reading “Fri, Mar. 31, 2017: Trump backs Flynn seeking immunity from ‘witch hunt’”