Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting — and noting that the White House had not disputed the accounts —the outlet reported that Trump had issued the demand during an Oval Office meeting with top advisors.
"So, John, I want you to know, this is my view. I want tariffs. And I want someone to bring me some tariffs," Axios quotes the president as saying to John Kelly, his chief of staff.
Trump then reportedly ended his meeting by saying: "I know there are some people in the room right now that are upset. I know there are some globalists in the room right now. And they don't want them, John, they don't want the tariffs. But I'm telling you, I want tariffs."
People in the meeting — which was set to be about plans to investigate China for intellectual property theft — included U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, trade advisor Peter Navarro, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to Axios.
Here's the non-denial that the White House gave to Axios: "The president has been very clear about his agenda as it relates to trade. Discussions pertaining to specific tariffs and trade deals are ongoing and have already resulted in many positive developments."