3. On Huawei, it's Trump vs. Trump
The Trump administration's campaign to keep Chinese tech giant Huawei's equipment out of allies' 5G networks keeps bumping up against confusing messages from the president himself.
Driving the news: A pair of presidential tweets Tuesday seemed to undercut the hard line Trump officials have been taking in urging allies like the U.K. and Germany to bar Huawei products from their 5G build-outs.
"The United States cannot, & will not, become such a difficult place to deal with in terms of foreign countries buying our product, including for the always used National Security excuse, that our companies will be forced to leave in order to remain competitive. We want to sell product and goods to China and other countries.”— President Trump on Twitter
Trump's messages came after a debate in his administration over whether to allow the sale of GE engines for a Chinese passenger jet to proceed, per Reuters.
Between the lines: The president's statements reinforced an argument administration critics have long made — that the Trump team doesn't really care about the national security case against Huawei, and is mostly interested in using the company as a bargaining chip in his trade dispute with China.
- "It seems as if the president, at any moment, could overturn whatever decision China hawks in the administration make," the Council on Foreign Relations' Adam Segal told the Washington Post.
Meanwhile: Late Wednesday, the president announced he was appointing Richard Grenell, currently ambassador to Germany, to be acting director of national intelligence.
- Grenell has been an outspoken proponent of get-tough-on-Huawei policies.