President Trump

On his performance to date, Gallup found on June 11th that 36% of Americans approve of his job performance and 56% disapprove. Below are his job ratings as found by Gallup on the first and 15th of each month.

Date Approval Disapproval
6/14/17 38% 59%
6/1/17 39% 55%
5/15/17 38% 57%
5/1/17 41% 55%
4/15/17 41% 53%
4/1/17 38% 57%
3/15/17 42% 53%
3/1/17 43% 51%
2/15/17 40% 54%
2/1/17 43% 52%

The following are some additional looks at his job performance.

JUNE xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx 34/57
MAY 39/54 xxx xxx xxx 40/53 37/55
APR 40/54 42/53 44/54 43/49 cbs xxx 35/57
MAR xxx xxx 45/52 40/52 cbs 43/51 37/56
FEB 44/48 xxx xxx 39/51 cbs 48/47 38/55
JAN xxx xxx 44/53 40/48 cbs xxx 36/44

The following are the job approval/disapproval numbers for this same time period of the last ten presidents before Trump. (Numbers are from Gallup for all the presidents up to Clinton and from NBC/WSJ after that.)

As you will see, Trump’s job approval rating by the public at large is the worst of any president going back to Richard Nixon other than Bill Clinton.

Approval – Roughly five months into first term

Kennedy 72% (6/61)
Eisenhower 74% (5/53)
Reagan 59% (6/81)
Carter 63% (6/77)
Obama 61% (6/09)
Nixon 63% (6/69)
George HW Bush 70% (6/89)
G W Bush 55% (6/01)
Clinton 39% (6/93)

On the economy, Trump scores 41% approval /47% disapproval and on foreign policy he scores 38% approval/50% disapproval. [Econ/YouGov, 6/6/17]

Referring to the President’s proposed tax plan Americans were asked, “Who do you think will benefit the most from this plan: low income Americans, middle class Americans, or wealthy Americans?” Here is the response:

Low income Americans — 4%
Middle class Americans — 27%
Wealthy Americans — 63%

Proving the point, the President’s proposed AHCA tax cuts would benefit the wealthiest among us. The top 1% income bracket would see an average tax cut of $37,320. Those in the 80-100% income bracket would see an average benefit of $2,780. Those in the bottom 60% would see benefits of $390 to $150. [Steve Rattner, Morning Joe, 6/13/17]

To further make the point, the Trump budget proposal would make the following cuts in programs that help those with the greatest need. [WP, 5/24/17]

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – 29% cut
Children’s Health Insurance Program – 19% cut
Medicaid – 17% cut
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – 13% cut
Unemployment Insurance – 12% cut
Earned Income Tax Credit – 8% cut

Supplemental Security Income – 3% cut
Social Security Disability Insurance – 2% cut
Medicare – 0.6% cut

The 1996 Congressional Review Act allows Congress to pass a “joint resolution of disapproval” of a “recently issued” federal regulation which nullifies the rule and stops the federal government from issuing a similar rule in the future. The ability to use the resolution expired on May 11, 2017.

The resolution of disapproval requires a majority vote of the Congress and the signature of the President.

A resolution of disapproval has been enacted only once before this administration, it related to a rule passed during Bill Clinton’s last year in office.

Prior to the May 11th deadline thirteen resolutions of disapproval were approved by Congress and ostensibly signed by the President. Two of the resolutions related to education, three were related to the environment, two were related to health care and six were related to labor and finance.

Sixteen additional proposed resolutions about environment rules never received a vote. [WP, 5/ 12/17]

61% of Americans believe that Trump fired Comey to protect himself while 27% say he did it for the good of the country. 88% of those who believe he was trying to protect himself are Democrats, 63% are Independents and 22% are Republicans. Holding the “protect himself view” are 77% of those 18-39 years of age and 52% of those 40 years of age and older.

Substantially less than 50% of Americans believe either Trump or Comey on the question of whether there was “possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election”. 21% have more trust in Trump while 36% have more trust in Comey. [ABC/WP, 6/4/17]

59% of Americans opposed U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. This includes 82% of Democrats, 63% of Independents and 25% of Republicans.

67% of Republicans support the decision to pull out.

Voters were asked in December 2016 and June 2017 whether they think Trump tweets too much.

  Too much Not enough
  Dec June Dec June
Registered Voters 56% 69% 4% 4%
Republicans 42% 53% 6% 6%
Independents 48% 70% 6% 3%
Democrats 75% 82% 4% 3%
[Morning Consult/Politico, 6/7/17]

Trump voters are sticking with him, even those whose hearts had not been won over when they voted for him. FiveThirtyEight conducted a survey of Trump voters, both committed and reluctant, from the end of May through the beginning of June.

  Reluctant Trump voters All other Trump voters
Do you approve of the way
Donald Trump is handling his
job as President?
74% approve 96% approve
Do you approve of the way
Donald Trump is handling
health care policy?
58% 89%
Do you approve of the way
Donald Trump is handling
the economy ?
77% 96%
Do you approve of the
appointment of the special
counsel to investigate
possible collusion between
Russian officials and the
Trump campaign?
54% 38%
Do you approve of Donald
Trump’s firing of FBI
Director James Comey?
83% 91%
If you had to choose one
of these Republicans to serve
as president, Donald Trump,
Mike Pence, or John Kasich,
who would it be? Donald Trump was picked by:
26% 77%
[Survey Monkey, May 26-June 4, 2017]

About President Trump

When Donald Trump says something that is clearly not true, does he do it knowing that it is not true? Many people think that he does not know some of the things he says are not true, that he does not consciously tell a lie.

Or perhaps it is what he described in his book the Art of the Deal as “truthful hyperbole.” Trump has defined “truthful hyperbole” as “an innocent form of exaggeration – and a very effective form of promotion.”

“Hyperbole is an extravagant overstatement and it can be either positive or negative in character.” “From a logical standpoint ‘truthful hyperbole’ is an impossibility.” “…hyperbole is by definition, not true.” [, 12/4/15]

It appears that he does not distinguish between sources, and that if something comes to mind that is supportive of a point he wants to make, he simply says it.

It seems to make no difference to Trump if he says something that contradicts something he has said before.

There seems to be little concern for the consequence of what he says before he says it.

Pretty much everyone who voted in the 2016 election knew that Donald Trump and his family were very wealthy. The actual amount is not important except to Trump himself – it is a lot by any standard. Given the nature of the family business, his new role is likely to have a positive effect on the family’s wealth.

There are people who have their knickers in a snit over whether or not he is violating the emoluments clause or other ethics rules. Frankly, I think these people’s energy would be much better spent by helping those who actually need help to survive because of actions taken or proposed by the administration.

Trump is attempting to run the entire Executive Branch the way he has always run his commercial business, without shareholders or a board of directors and without regard for “expert” advice. This is really not a surprise. This style of operating helped him become wealthy and to win an election which, for a long time, seemed totally outside of his reach.

He has spoken respectfully of autocrats and treated other democratic leaders with disdain.

He seems to be quite comfortable cutting the federal largesse for folks who need it the most (see page 11) and passing it on to the folks who need it the least.

If there is one thing that stands out in the operation of this administration it is the number of leaks to the media from all parts of the administration, including from within the White House. No one can recall seeing this quantity or type of leak in any administration that comes to mind. To what extent might some of these leaks be efforts on the part of the President’s team to push him in one direction or another? [WW]

Matt Lewis, in the Daily Beast (5/31/17), presents another perspective.

“Conservatives who are viscerally turned off by the Trump cult of personality prize things like the rule of law and balance of powers. Part of what this means is that the idea of a ruling class repels us. We believe the maxim that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we instead celebrate the system and institutions that check the accumulation of power. We see dissent as patriotic. We see the messianic impulse of some Americans as a very dangerous tendency. We believe that it’s not healthy to put politicians on a pedestal. We believe you should respect your leaders and pray for them—but not to them.

“I’ll confess that sometimes skepticism gets mixed up with cynicism. There is also sometimes a smugness associated with being a rebellious contrarian. Most of us small-r republicans find sycophants and brown-nosers repulsive. Still, it’s one thing to suck up to your boss at the office. It’s another thing entirely to suck up to a president. Part of the reason for this is that Trump’s team views him as the boss—as the CEO of the country. This is a destructive tendency. It also undermines the system America’s Founding Fathers put in place to keep any one person from gaining too much power.

“The people who suck up to him might work for Trump, but we do not. In fact, he works for us. And we shouldn’t ever let him forget it.”


Now that we have elected the first president in history that has no history as a government official—elected, appointed or otherwise—well known people are suddenly being talked about as in the mix for running for president in the future. The following is a list of people who have been mentioned as potential candidates who have no previous government experience. Folks are on the list whether or not they have disclaimed any interest. On June 13th, Oprah Winfrey was quite specific in disclaiming any interest in being a candidate for president.

Dwayne Johnson – Actor
Bob Iger – CBS
Howard Schultz – Chairman, Starbucks
Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey Productions
Mark Cuban – Businessman and Owner, Dallas Mavericks
Kanye West – Entertainer
Mark Zuckerberg – CEO, Facebook