Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post via Getty Images

"The White House is planning to make a major announcement today about whether it will impose new limits on steel and aluminum imports, ... following months of speculation about whether President Trump would follow through on trade threats and impose tariffs that could roil global markets," The Washington Post reports.

But the news comes as a big surprise to many administration officials, signaling a truly remarkable breakdown in process — and the event may not happen.

The confusion last night among senior officials on the trade announcement — a decision of global consequence — is like nothing I've seen in the Kelly era:

  • A staunch Trump loyalist inside the administration texted: “This is venturing into ‘OK, this is just too much’ territory.”
  • Senior White House officials had no idea what was going on, and tried to find out after seeing the WashPost story.

And today...

Be smart: This is a good illustration of catching Trump at the right moment — which senior administration officials believe is what Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and possibly trade adviser Peter Navarro did.

  • Trump is mad and feels he’s being poorly served by staff. And he wants tariffs, dammit!
  • So when somebody says: "You know, Mr., President, you could just do it," that’s pretty appealing.

Go deeper

43 mins ago - World

"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

2 hours ago - World

Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

Voters stand in line at the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 13. Photo: Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at nearly five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.