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President Trump with GM CEO Mary Barra in 2017. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A move by at least 4 big automakers to cut a separate deal with California on nationwide emissions standards clearly has President Trump's attention on Twitter.

"Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn't work as well, because execs don't want to fight California regulators."

Why it matters: The tweets represent an escalation in the battle over one of the most far-reaching Obama-era climate efforts. They come as major automakers are weighing whether to join Ford, Honda, VW and BMW in the pact with California.

  • The pact effectively rebuffs his plan to freeze Obama-era emissions and mileage rules, rather than allowing them to get more stringent through the mid-2020s.

The big question: Will Trump's public criticism give other automakers pause about joining the deal?

  • The industry is an an awkward spot. It felt former President Obama's mandates were infeasible, but argues Trump's plan to freeze them outright goes too far.
  • Mercedes-Benz and one other major company are reportedly interested in joining the agreement.

The intrigue: The Wall Street Journal reports that some foreign-based carmakers fear that explicitly breaking with Trump by joining the deal could "embolden" the president to carry out tariff threats.

  • GM, meanwhile, "doesn't think the California proposal gives enough credit for sales of fully electric vehicles," per WSJ.

The big picture: Reuters points out that Trump's claims are highly questionable, highlighting that "there is no evidence that existing fuel economy rules would degrade vehicle performance."

Go deeper: Big Auto's rupture with Trump

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
7 mins ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Updated 26 mins ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.

Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and has "confidence in the job he is doing," White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet Thursday.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.