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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...

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.