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    Changing his mind on the NAFTA ‘disaster’

    DAY 50 - In this March 10, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, during a meeting on healthcare. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, file)
    Evan Vucci/AP
    President Donald Trump.

    Welcome to Trump Today, a one-stop entry point for the latest news on the 45th president of the United States.

    Afternoon update

    The Pentagon’s acting inspector general and lawmakers are probing the legality of payments accepted from foreign sources by Michael Flynn, President Donald J. Trump’s former national security adviser. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said Flynn was informed he needed to get permission to receive the money — and there’s no evidence he got that permission.


    Cummings released a sheaf of documents showing payments to Flynn by a Russian state-sponsored television network.

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    Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could meet before the end of May, a Russian media outlet reported.

    The food industry hopes that Trump will delay or reverse Obama-era rules governing the disclosure of calories, sugar, fiber and serving size.

    The senior US Navy officer in charge of military operations in the Pacific said the crisis with North Korea is at the worst level he’s ever seen, but it’s no Cuban missile crisis.

    They’re giving themselves an extension. Lawmakers who were facing a shutdown if they did not pass a spending bill by Friday have come up with a short-term spending bill that will carry them through May 5.


    Trump blasted out a series of tweets Thursday morning. (See below.)

    The morning headlines

    Hours after administration officials said he was considering termination of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he would not pull out. He tweeted early Thursday morning that they had called him to ask him to renegotiate instead and “I agreed.” Trump had railed against NAFTA during the campaign as a “disaster.”

    Trump proposed tax cuts of historic proportions for the rich and for corporations — along with what appeared to be more modest relief for the middle class. Critics, including some Republicans, warned of ballooning budget deficits. Democrats said he was betraying the working-class voters he wooed in his campaign, the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Astead W. Herndon report.

    Here’s a look at who wins and who loses under the Trump plan from the Globe’s Evan Horowitz.


    At the unveiling of Trump’s tax cut proposal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump has “no intention” of releasing his rax returns. He said Americans have “plenty of information” about the Republican president’s finances.

    The Trump administration invited all 100 US senators to a White House briefing, where top administration officials outlined the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and the US options for responding. Some lawmakers questioned whether, despite the tensions apparently rising in the region, it was all just for show.

    A former golf course in South Korea is being converted to an antimissile defense base. The move, which sparked criticism and protests, came only six days after the US military secured the land.

    Breaking with her father, first daughter Ivanka Trump said the United States might need to admit more refugees from civil war-torn Syria. “That has to be part of the discussion,” she said in an NBC-TV interview.

    Can Trump and the GOP revive the bill to replace the Affordable Care Act that fizzled last month in the House? Republicans in that chamber are debating a compromise bill. Here is a look at key elements.

    As he scrambles to burnish his resume before the 100-day mark on Saturday, Trump has only 44 percent approval, a historic low for newly-elected presidents, according to a CNN/ORC poll. Only 37 percent said they saw him as honest.

    Today’s schedule

    Trump met with President Mauricio Macri of Argentina. He also signed a memorandum ordering an investigation of the impact of rising aluminum imports. Later, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, he was expected to sign an executive order creating an office there for accountability and whistleblower protection.

    Press secretary Sean Spicer briefed the media.

    What’s he been tweeting?

    Trump on Thursday morning posted the tweet saying he had gotten calls from the leaders of Mexico and Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate it — and he had acceded to their wishes.

    He continued with a series of eight tweets into the midafternoon. He appeared in most to be referring to the spending bill being worked on by Congress that is crucial to keep the government from shutting down — and his administration’s attempt to insert into the bill funding for a border wall and cuts to federal payments to health insurers. He also lashed out at Puerto Rico’s lobbying for financial help in the bill and noted that the bill contains health care funding for retired miners and widows.

    Finally, Trump tweeted Fox News video coverage of the Argentine president’s visit to the White House.

    More headlines

    In a White House ceremony, Trump recognized Sydney Chaffee, a humanities teacher at Codman Academy, a public charter school in Boston, as the National Teacher of the Year.

    A $1 trillion-plus spending bill that needs to pass by midnight Friday to keep the government running is still on track after Trump backed away from a threat to withhold funding that reduces health bills for lower-income people.

    Trump had earlier also relented on a demand for funding for his US-Mexico border wall. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers are trying out a new spin on Trump’s promise of an “impenetrable physical wall.” They’re saying the “wall” is a metaphor for increased security.

    It was his fault. The top Pentagon commander in the Pacific took responsibility for the Trump administration giving the impression recently that an aircraft carrier was racing to face off with North Korea, when it wasn’t. “I’ll take the hit for it,” said Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., head of Pacific Command.

    Trump said on Twitter and in person that he would challenge all the way to the Supreme Court court rulings that have blocked his travel ban and his bid to withhold funds from “sanctuary cities.”

    Trump signed an executive order that is intended to curtail the federal role in K-12 education. ‘‘We know that local communities do it best and know it best,’’ Trump said.


    Here’s the briefing by Treasury Seccretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn in which they unveiled the dramatic tax cut plan, while providing few details. Mnuchin also reveals that Trump will not release his own tax returns.

    Comic relief

    No less a cultural institution than “The Simpsons” had fun at Trump’s expense as he approaches his 100-day milestone.