That was the tactic that worked: Trump announced that tariffs would be delayed by December 15.
This was a retreat against the backdrop of a grueling trade war that Trump insists would ultimately benefit the Americans – and demonstrate his firmness to China. And while it made markets jump on Tuesday, profits were deleted a day later amid new fears of an impending recession.
He relies on a team that is often at odds with one another and who has undergone many changes over the past few months. Now Trump is finding himself surrounded by fewer and fewer of those who govern his administration's economic policies for the first two and a half years, as fears of recession mount inside the West Wing.
Trump and his campaign are relying on a stable economy to elect him again. Voters who approve of Trump's submission to the post say the # 1 cause is because of the economy.
With a re-election of his mind, Trump boasted of a recent stock market launch during a campaign in New Hampshire on Thursday, where he claimed that even Americans who didn't like him had "no choice but to vote." for him, otherwise the economy will collapse.
"You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401 (k) will be all down the tubes," he told the crowd. "Whether you love or hate me, you have to vote for me."
Emerging Economic Team
The importance of the economy to its political future has long been a central topic of Trump's discussions with his team , people familiar with the conversations said, even as the composition of the team changes over time.
Its chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who is coming to work for two years, is expected to leave in the coming months. His best economist, Kevin Haset, came out with a promise to be "a resource … outside." Officials say it covers complaints from Assistant Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross.
Trump has even hit one of his most loyal cabinet secretaries, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, because of interrupted trade talks with China, officials said. Mnuchin has been moving his own funds to the Treasury, leaving a number of assistants in recent months.
Trump has since been turning to more solid aides like Peter Navarro, a solid-line trade and manufacturing consultant who defends his firm moves in China and I assure him there will be an economic rebound.
Trump showed an affinity for aides with a view to the political implications of economic decisions rather than a thorough knowledge of economic policy, people said. He also gets annoyed at briefings when the discussion gets too technical or in the weeds.
Mnuchin, who heads the campaign for Trump's campaign, remains the president's closest advisor on economic matters, according to people familiar with the team's dynamics, even as Trump complains about the lack of progress in trade talks that Mnuchin watching.
This is partly due to his longevity in the administration, people said. But Trump also views his success in the private sector as implicit evidence of his economic advice.
When he sought the replacement of Gary Cohn, his first director of the National Economic Council, he was taken by Kudlow, who was sensible while defending Trump's position on television.
Trump also praised Navarro for his sometimes belligerent tariff-defending statements, including this week.
A team that sometimes conflicts with
Trump spends a week at his golf course in Bedminster, but his business team is scattered elsewhere. Navarro is in Washington while Ross is in New York. Mick Mulvaney, the former head of budget who is now acting chief of staff, joined Trump in New Jersey.
Trump's Chief Economic Advisor, acting Chief of Staff of the Council of Economic Advisers Tomas Philipson, was in the lead only a few weeks after Hassett's departure, often defending the administration's position on television. Hasset's departure is seen as creating a void for those charged with explaining the White House's economic policies, a White House official said.
And Mnuchin works from Washington, but largely remains out of public sight. He joined a phone call between Trump and CEOs of JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup on Wednesday as markets collapsed amid fears of a recession.
Instead, Navarro was the one who defended the administration's position publicly throughout the week. Hardlineer with regard to China, he often opposes broader views on economic policy in debates within the administration and clashed with Mnuchin during trade talks with China.
On the air, Navarro strengthened Trump's position that market fluctuations were the fault of the Federal Reserve, which both Trump and Navarro felt did not cut interest rates fast enough.
This is not a point of view generally held in the West Wing, where many economic aides acknowledge that continuing trade wars are more to blame for current economic conditions than anything else. But in discussions, most White House officials still cite the Fed as a contributing factor, knowing that this is the president's opinion.
The White House plans to attend Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, in some shows Sunday morning to further explain the administration's position. And Vice President Mike Pence will make remarks at the Detroit Economic Club next week, outlining the administration's economic position.
A senior administration official said Trump has been in regular contact with members of his economic team – including Kudlow, Mnuchin and Commerce Representative Robert Lighthouse – since his work vacation in New Jersey this week.
Fears of recession? While some officials describe Trump as shaken by fresh fears of recession that shook the market Wednesday, others said he did not seem deeply concerned that the decline could take place over the next two years.
Instead, he is more focused on what such an economic event might be – or the appearance that one has to come, on his political prospects. He expressed concern that the deterioration of the trade situation could harm the economy and lose chances. his re-election.
Although Trump's frustration with the markets has focused primarily on the Federal Reserve, people familiar with the matter say that he has also verified that the team has the task of negotiating a trade deal with China so far that it has failed to reach an agreement.
One such meeting took place last week as new tariffs, which Trump threatened to impose on China, caused turmoil among retailers. During the meetings, Trump advisers warned him that CEOs are ready to vocalize the tariffs, which were due to take effect in September and would affect popular Christmas gifts such as mobile phones and electronics.
Advisers appealed to Trump's Affinity for the Christmas season according to acquaintances. Trump boasted to the gathered crowd that he had saved the holiday season from a politically correct "war for Christmas." when the products on the shelves of the Christmas market stores would already be delivered.
The decision to delay the new tariffs on China came without any concessions from Beijing.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Navarro called the fare back – outside Trump's "Christmas Nation Gift".
In the meetings, Trump also expressed hope that the move would jump off trade talks between the US and China, which continue to halt after his meeting with Xi in June, which is largely a disappointment to Trump.  But this does not seem to have happened. On Thursday, China threatened to retaliate if the US issued new tariffs on $ 300 billion worth of products made by China. A statement from the Treasury Department did not mention the delay.
Pamela Brown contributed to this report.