Trump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE

Trump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE late Friday appeared to confirm that his administration had reached a deal to put Chinese telecommunications company ZTE back in business.

In a pair of tweets, the president blasted the Obama administration and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Strong job growth drives home choice for voters this election MORE (D-N.Y.), accusing them of letting the telecom giant "flourish with no security checks."

"I closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine," Trump wrote. "Dems do nothing but complain and obstruct."

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The tweets came hours after a senior congressional aide told Reuters that a deal had been reached to allow ZTE to resume business with U.S. companies pending a change in management and a major fine.

Reports have circulated for days that the Trump administration and Beijing were working to secure a deal to save the Chinese telecom giant, which was banned by the Commerce Department from buying tech components after it violated U.S. sanctions by selling equipment to North Korea and Iran.

The reported deal with ZTE raised alarms among lawmakers from both sides of the aisle this week, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFlorida questions Senate chairman over claim that Russians have ‘penetrated’ election systems A paid leave plan cannot make you choose between kids or retirement New sanctions would hurt Russia — but hurt American industry more MORE (R-Fla.), who criticized Trump over a previous tweet announcing the deal's progress.

"Are you kidding me? $1.3 billion? And the other sanction, guess what it is? We're going to force you to buy more things from America. Well, that's not a punishment. That's a reward. That's exactly what they want. ... That's a terrible deal," Rubio said on the Senate floor.

Schumer issued his own statement rebuking Trump for the reported deal earlier Friday, accusing the president of "helping make China great again."

"Simply a fine and changing board members would not protect America’s economic or national security, and would be a huge victory for President Xi [Jinping], and a dramatic retreat by President Trump," Schumer said in a statement.

"Both parties in Congress should come together to stop this deal in its tracks."