Nov 18, 2019

Report: Trump in flavored e-cigarette ban backflip

First lady Melania Trump and President Trump speak to journalists at the White House after announcing his e-cigarette ban plans, Sept. 11. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has backed away from plans to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, the Washington Post first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: It's the latest "chaotic" policy reversal following a dramatic declaration by the president to the contrary, per WashPost, which notes he's made differing statements on gun control, leaving troops in Syria and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

  • The non-tobacco flav0rs that were set to be outlawed are at the center of a dramatic rise in youth vaping that has schools and parents on widespread alert.

Flashback: Trump told reporters in September he planned to enact the ban as he sat alongside first lady Melania Trump, noting that she "feels very strongly" about the issue.

Between the lines: Axios' Alayna Treene reported in September that conservative leaders were "circulating data to White House staff that claims adults who vape will turn" on Trump if he banned such products.

  • WashPost now reports that White House and campaign officials said Trump reversed his decision because of concerns that owners of e-cigarette stores and their customers "might hurt his reelection prospects."
  • Trump wants more research into the issue, the New York Times reports. But he decided against banning the products after "pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists" over concerns of a "potential pushback from his supporters," it said.
  • He also "feared it would lead to job losses," an anonymous Trump adviser told the WashPost.

What they're saying: White House spokesperson Judd Deere told the WashPost, "President Trump and this administration are committed to responsibly protecting the health of children. At this time, we are in an ongoing rulemaking process, and I will not speculate on the final outcome."

Go deeper: GOP allies warn vaping ban will sink Trump in 2020

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

2 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.