Watch: White House briefs press after Trump says he has 'absolute right' to pardon himself

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Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to field reporters' questions on Monday, shortly after President Donald Trump said he wields the "absolute right" to pardon himself.

Trump followed that assertion of executive power with a tweet attacking the special counsel as being "totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!"

The pair of tweets raised new questions about how Trump and his legal team view their options for fighting back against the special counsel's probe of Russian election interference.

His tweets came after The New York Times published a confidential letter from Trump's lawyers arguing that the president's broad executive powers allow him to issue pardons related to the Russia probe.

Trump also flexed the power last week, granting a pardon to conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution. He also floated the possibility of forgiving the conviction of celebrity chef and entrepreneur Martha Stewart and commuting the sentence of Illinois ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The Monday morning tweets also came amid ongoing challenges on North Korean denuclearization and the prospects of a global trade war with U.S. allies. On Friday, Trump said that an unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which he had canceled days prior, would take place on its originally scheduled date of June 12 after all.

The president tempered expectations with his Friday announcement, saying he believed multiple meetings would be needed to work toward the ultimate goal of North Korean denuclearization.

While Trump attempts to forge new ties with North Korea, U.S. allies are sounding off about his administration's plan to slap steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau castigated the Trump administration for arguing that Canada's trade practices posed a national security threat. His foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced Friday that Canada planned to respond with dollar-for-dollar tariffs on imports from the U.S.


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