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Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talk to reporters in the Oval Office last month. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration's long-running trade talks with China have hit a new obstacle. The president sent two tweets today that should rattle both stock markets and President Xi Jinping.

"For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!"

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the situation told me that the Chinese had been backing off of agreements the U.S. negotiating team believed they had already made. Trump's view, the source said, is that he's negotiating from a position of clear economic strength, especially with the latest strong U.S. jobs numbers.

  • "You guys want to mess around with us? Be my guest," the source said, characterizing the president's thinking.

Between the lines: My colleague Bill Bishop, who edits the "Axios China" newsletter, emailed me his reading of the tea leaves:

  • "My guess is that he thinks threatening this just before [Chinese Vice Premier] Liu He and his delegation arrive in D.C. will pressure the side to resolve whatever the last remaining issues are."
  • "The challenge for the president is that threatened bump in tariffs will hit U.S. consumers, and some of his base, and if they are implemented, the Chinese may add their own."
  • "The Chinese are also feeling more confident about the state of their economy ... and so think they are less vulnerable to tariffs than they were last fall. People who talk to them have been telling them not to miscalculate and overplay their hand, but it appears they may be." 

China's response: A taunting agitprop tweet from the editor-in-chief of China's state-owned Global Times: "President Trump threatens China while he seemingly doesn't understand how tariffs work. Not sure whether US public doesn't understand either. China has long ago prepared for the worst. We won't buy this trick. Moreover, he didn't even scare North Korea."

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DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."