Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Hours after President Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that a 90-day trade war truce between the U.S. and China will begin Jan. 1, the White House issued a correction stating that the truce actually began on Dec. 1.

Behind the scenes: Administration officials and China hawks close to the White House were stunned by Kudlow’s comments. The Trump team left Saturday's dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires and announced to the world the 90-day negotiating clock began immediately. Kudlow’s comments threw that timeline into confusion. I emailed the White House repeatedly to get clarity. It took them until shortly before 6pm to correct the record.

Why it matters: The hawks worry that if Trump allows any further extension of his truce he will get sucked into China’s favorite game: a never ending “strategic economic dialogue” that produces puny concessions and avoids doing anything hard or important like stopping stealing from American companies.

Go deeper: China's stalling pattern pays off

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
37 mins ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.

Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.

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