It has become increasingly clear that the top of President Trump’s agenda is to repeal or otherwise undercut in any way possible anything that is seen as action taken by President Obama.
Trump just makes things up without checking and doesn’t seem to care whether what he says is true. The following is a recent example.
On June 28th President Trump sent a tweet, “Very little reporting about the GREAT GDP numbers announced yesterday (3.0 despite the Big hurricane hits).”
On the same day of this tweet, these were front page headlines on three major newspapers:
Wall Street Journal: “ U.S. Economy Picks Up Steam: Despite hurricanes, U.S. consumers and businesses drove a six month expansion….U.S. economy has posted two consecutive quarters of growth above 3%”
N.Y. Times: “Economy 3% Spurt Emboldens Tax Cut Supporters (and Critics)”
The Washington Post: “Economy shows strong growth, could provide GOP momentum”
Americans disapprove of the President’s “handling of his role as commander in chief”, “the situation in North Korea”, “the NFL players’ protest during the national anthem”, “the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico”, “health care” and “the Iran Nuclear agreement”.
They do approve of his “handling of the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida” and the “economy”. [NBC/WSJ, 10/26/17]
The following is a summary of media coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office based on a study by the Pew Research Center.
Stories from outlets with a politically right-leaning audience were at least five times more likely to carry an overall positive assessment of the Trump administration than those that have a left-leaning audience or a more mixed audience makeup.
The research also found that stories from outlets with a left-leaning audience and a more mixed audience included a wider variety of voices.
Additionally, direct refutations of a statement by President Trump or the administration were about seven times more common in stories from outlets with a left-leaning audience than a right-leaning one.
Coverage was more likely to be framed around Trump and the administration leadership and character than around policy.
Compared with past administrations, coverage of Trump’s early days focused less on policy and was assessed more negatively. [PEW, 10/2/17]
A longtime friend of mine who is not a Trump supporter sent me a full page email in mid-August and the following are two sentences from that email. “Everyone says President Trump is a racist or an idiot. I actually think there is a material chance that neither of these statements are true. When I look at his actions, I see the possibility that President Trump is incredibly shrewd at always changing the narrative with outrageous positions that (a) have a shred of truth; or (b) he can easily abandon.”
Another friend of mine, with a long career in law enforcement said, “Trump may not be a racist but has no trouble being seen as a racist.”
58% approve and 26% disapprove of the way Robert Mueller is handling his investigation of possible ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. And by 51% to 37% respondents do not believe that Trump is cooperating with the investigations.
49% overall believe it is likely that Trump committed a crime in connection with Russian attempts to influence the election. Of this number, 19% think there is solid evidence that Trump committed a crime, while 30% say that this is merely their suspicion.
82% of Republicans say it is unlikely Trump committed a crime. 74% of Democrats and half of Independents think it is likely that he did commit a crime. [WP/ABC, 11/1/17]
After Florida and Texas were hit by a hurricane, Trump tweeted, “We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow, and we will be with you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, and REBUILD.” he told Texas. Florida received the same message.
After Puerto Rico was hit by a subsequent hurricane that all but destroyed the island he tweeted to Puerto Rico, they “want everything to be done for them.” “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” [NYTimes, 10/13/17]
Could it be that the President sees Puerto Ricans as foreigners and not as U.S. citizens?
By 55% to 45% a majority of registered voters trust the Democrats in Congress more than Donald Trump to handle America’s security. This is an 18 point swing from March when 54% to 46% trusted Trump more.
[Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll, 10/10/17]
In a speech in Alabama on September 22nd Trump said that if NFL players take a knee during the national anthem fans should leave the stadium and the NFL owners should fire the players.
As it happens the Winston Group had done a survey in August looking at the brand images of a variety of sports at the professional and college level. They did a follow up survey September 28-29.
In a report of the two surveys the Winston Group wrote, “In the ﬁrst survey, 57% were favorable and 23% were unfavorable to the NFL. Post Trump’s statements and the player response, the NFL’s brand image slipped signiﬁcantly to 44-40 favorable-unfavorable. The favorable margin went from +34% to +4% in the course of one month, so the country is now basically neutral toward the NFL. While some other sports saw minor slippage, none came close to matching the drop the NFL experienced.”
In the August survey the NFL had a favorable rating of 68% to 22% among men. By the end of September it had fallen to 45% to 44%. Among women in August the NFL had a favorable rating of 48% to 25%. By August it had fallen to 43% to 36%.
A separate piece of research by CBS News around this incident demonstrates the dynamics of the broader divides in this country.
When folks were asked what the players were trying to do they responded that the players were trying to:
|Call attention to racism||73%||82%||69%||69%|
|Call attention to unfair police tactics||69%||84%||61%||64%|
|Stick up for people in their communities||66%||86%||47%||65%|
|Disrespect the flag and anthem itself||40%||13%||70%||43%|
|Disrespect the military and veterans||33%||11%||59%||36%|
|[CBS News survey, 9/28/17]|