Kim Hart May 19
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Uber orders self-driving car exec to return Waymo files


Uber has asked Anthony Levandowski, the executive at the center of a major lawsuit with Waymo, to cooperate with a court's order to return any files he has back to Waymo — or risk losing his job, Recode reports. Uber has also asked him to waive his Fifth Amendment rights he asserted earlier in the case.

Why this is a big deal: Uber general counsel Salle Yoo's letter to Levandowski is a major shift toward the executive as Uber works to comply with the judge's order to compel him to turn over any documents he has. Levandowski, who is close with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, has already stepped down as head of its self-driving car unit. Uber is aggressively trying to take the steps needed to resolve the court case that threatens to undermine its driverless plans

Mike Allen 6 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 8 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.