European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with President Trump in July. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The White House does not plan to make a decision on whether to impose auto tariffs by President Trump's May 18 deadline and will instead delay the announcement by up to 6 months, Bloomberg reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Jonathan Swan: Trump's team has been looking for ways to punt the auto tariffs decision. The White House knows that if they pile on another set of tariffs now — especially the deeply unpopular auto tariffs, which use the dubious justification that importing foreign automobiles and auto parts constitutes a "national security threat" — then the stock market would collapse and Congress would revolt.

  • Trump still wants to hold out the threat of auto tariffs over the Europeans as leverage. But his team is acutely aware that they've pushed Republican lawmakers to the brink of their tolerance with his tariffs war with China.

The other side: The EU had been finalizing a list of retaliatory tariffs on $23 billion of U.S. goods in the event that Trump decided to move forward with the decision.

Go deeper: Trump's plan to keep car tariffs in his back pocket

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Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.