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Ro Khanna pushes back on criticism of his net neutrality comment

California Rep. Ro Khanna has become an aggressive critic of the Trump-era FCC. Photo: Ben Margot / AP

Rep. Ro Khanna — a Democrat who represents parts of Silicon Valley — defended a controversial statement he made in a conversation with his local paper last week that pointed to Portugal as an example of what happens when regulations don't protect net neutrality.

What he's saying:

  • Backers of the repeal of U.S. net neutrality rules note that Portugal is subject to Europe-wide rules. But Khanna says they're too weak on "zero rating" programs that let internet customers view certain content without counting against their monthly data caps.
  • "The strongest form would be net neutrality with a significant ban on zero rating. Right below that is what FCC Chair Wheeler did under the Obama administration: net neutrality with a case-by-case review of zero rating by the FCC," he told the San Jose Mercury News.

Reality check: Republicans at the FCC are already set on repealing the Obama-era rules this month. There's zero political support on Capitol Hill to enact something even tougher.

Mike Allen 13 hours ago
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A White House olive branch: no plan to fire Mueller

Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

After a weekend at war with the Mueller investigation, the White House is extending an olive branch. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the probe, plans to issue this statement:

“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Why it matters: The White House strategy had been to cooperate with Mueller. So this is an effort to turn down the temperature after a weekend of increasingly personal provocations aimed at the special counsel.

Jonathan Swan 15 hours ago
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Trump's trade plan that would blow up the WTO

President Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum earlier this month, flanked by Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer, and Peter Navarro. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

For months, President Donald Trump has been badgering his economic advisors to give him broad, unilateral authority to raise tariffs — a move that would all but break the World Trade Organization.

His favorite word: “reciprocal.” He’s always complaining to staff about the fact that the U.S. has much lower tariffs on some foreign goods than other countries have on the same American-made goods. The key example is cars: The European Union has a 10 percent tariff on all cars, including those manufactured in America, and China hits all foreign-made cars with 25 percent tariffs. But the U.S. only charges 2.5 percent for foreign cars we import.