President Trump may have just set the record for the highest disapproval rating by day 60 in office. Gallup's latest approval rating poll released Sunday saw Trump's approval rating sink to 37 percent, and his disapproval rating rise to 58 percent. Just one week ago, Trump's approval rating was 8 points higher, at 45 percent.
In a nutshell... pic.twitter.com/cbOaB5laYY
— Anthony De Rosa (@Anthony) March 20, 2017
Trump's numbers look even worse when compared to previous presidents' ratings after two months in office. Prior to Trump, the president with the highest disapproval rating at the 60-day mark — at least dating back to 1977 — was former President Bill Clinton, who had a 34 percent disapproval rating at this point in his first term. Trump just beat that record by a whopping 24 points:
Gallup- Job *disapproval* upon hitting 60 days in office:
HW Bush 16
W Bush 29
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) March 19, 2017
The Gallup poll surveyed about 1,500 adults nationwide by phone. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Becca Stanek
While he was still serving as Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort sent an email to a Kiev-based employee of his consulting business requesting he tell a Russian billionaire with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin that if he wanted "private briefings" on the presidential race, Manafort would set it up, several people familiar with the emails told The Washington Post.
Emails on the subject are part of the tens of thousands of documents now in the possession of special counsel Robert Mueller's team. The emails are very vague, and no exact name is ever used, but investigators believe they are referring to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate and one of the richest men in Russia. There is no evidence Deripaska ever received the message or any briefings, but investigators think this shows Manafort was ready to use his proximity to Trump for his own benefit, several people told the Post.
The Wall Street Journal reports it's been difficult for Deripaska to get visas to come to the U.S. because he might have ties to organized crime in Russia, something Deripaska denies. Deripaska has paid Manafort as an investment consultant, and in 2014 took him to court in the Cayman Islands, accusing Manafort of taking nearly $19 million in money set aside for investments and being unable to tell him what he did with the money or where it is. Read more about Manafort and Deripaska's relationship at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia
On Wednesday, Mediaite published leaked outtakes from the filming of MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell's show on Aug. 29, 2017. The resulting eight-minute-long montage isn't pretty.
In the collected clips, O'Donnell can be seen getting absolutely irate at his staff over an apparent equipment malfunction, muttering cuss words under his breath and demanding to know who's to blame. "There's insanity in the control room tonight," O'Donnell says, twitching with anger.
When it happens again, O'Donnell appears even more irritated. "You have insanity in my earpiece," O'Donnell says, noting that he can hear someone talking and other background noise in his earpiece. He drops the F-bomb.
After it happens yet again, O'Donnell absolutely loses it. "Stop the hammering," he screams. "Stop the hammering out there. Who's got a hammer? Where is it? Where's the hammer? Go up on the other floor. Somebody go up there and stop the hammering. Stop the hammering. I'll go down to the goddamned floor myself and stop it, keep the goddamned commercial break going. Call f--king [MSNBC President] Phil Griffin. I don't care who the f--k you have to call. Stop the hammering. Empty out the goddamned control room and find out where this is going on."
He proceeds to crumple up pieces of paper and throw them to the ground while swearing.
In the next outtake, O'Donnell continues to curse. He berates his staff for nearly two minutes over an apparent slip-up. "I told you why I wanted those f--king words cut. It just f--king sucks, it f--king sucks to be out here with this out of control sh-t," O'Donnell screams.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be delving specifically into President Trump's "behavior in the White House," The New York Times reported Wednesday. Mueller has recently requested more information on "13 different areas" related to Trump's actions in office, as part of his ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and the Trump team's potential ties to it:
One of the requests is about a meeting Mr. Trump had in May with Russian officials in the Oval Office the day after James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, was fired. That day, Mr. Trump met with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak, along with other Russian officials. The New York Times reported that in the meeting Mr. Trump had said that firing Mr. Comey relieved "great pressure" on him.
Mr. Mueller has also requested documents about the circumstances of the firing of Michael T. Flynn, who was Mr. Trump's first national security adviser. Additionally, the special counsel has asked for documents about how the White House responded to questions from The Times about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. That meeting was set up by Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, to get derogatory information from Russians about Hillary Clinton. [The New York Times]
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stunned his colleagues in the Senate when he torpedoed the Republican health-care bill with a tie-breaking no vote in July. With the GOP prepared to send its latest iteration of the health-care bill to the floor sometime next week, McCain is now poised to potentially make or break the legislation yet again.
Republicans have a Sept. 30 deadline for passing a health-care bill with only 50 votes. The Congressional Budget Office won't have its analysis on how much the bill would affect coverage or its costs for consumers until October. Additionally, the hearing on the bill will be before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, which "does not have primary jurisdiction over health care, making a formal markup of the bill impossible," Politico writes.
Despite the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), being McCain's close friend, McCain has stressed to Politico that he is dissatisfied with how his party is pushing the bill. "Nothing has changed," he said Wednesday. "If [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell wants to put it on the floor, that's up to McConnell. I am the same as I was before. I want the regular order."
Asked to clarify if that means he is voting no, McCain replied: "That means I want the regular order. It means I want the regular order!"
Three GOP defections would kill the bill. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are believed to be opposed to the bill. In addition to McCain, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is reportedly on the fence about the legislation. Jeva Lange
At a United Nations lunch Wednesday with African leaders, President Trump marveled at Africa's "tremendous business potential." "I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich," he said. "I congratulate you, they're spending a lot of money."
Trump thinks the U.S. could benefit from teaming up with Africa, too. "In this room I see partners for promoting prosperity and peace on a range of economic, humanitarian, and security issues. We hope to extend our economic partnerships with countries who are committed to self-reliance and to fostering opportunities for job creation in both Africa and the United States," Trump said, noting that "six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa."
At another point in the speech, Trump referenced the country of Nambia, which does not exist.
Catch a snippet of his praise for Africa's business opportunities for his "many friends" below. Becca Stanek
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 20, 2017
President Trump announced that the nonexistent country of "Nambia" has an increasingly self-sufficient health-care system during a United Nations lunch with African leaders on Wednesday:
Namibia? Zambia? Well, someone's health system is increasingly self-sufficient.
— David Mack (@davidmackau) September 20, 2017
Chronicles of Nambia.
— Rich (@RICHXHELL) September 20, 2017
Ah, Nambia. A beautiful country that borders the equally enchanting Zamunda.
— Mariam Hosseini (@yogurtsoda) September 20, 2017
So far, Trump appears to have failed to impress African leaders — a photo of the Zimbabwean delegation listening to Trump's U.N. speech on Tuesday went viral and President Robert Mugabe appeared to sleep through the whole thing.
Watch Trump completely make up the nation of Nambia below. Jeva Lange
Trump, at a lunch with African leaders, refers to the non-existent country of "Nambia." pic.twitter.com/N8megnC1Xi
— David Mack (@davidmackau) September 20, 2017
The Senate plans to vote on the latest iteration of the Republican health-care bill next week, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday. "It is the leader's intention to consider Graham-Cassidy on the floor next week," the spokesperson told Politico.
The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), would convert ObamaCare subsidies and Medicaid payments into block grants to states, allowing each state ample leeway to decide coverage rules and patient protections, plus cut Medicaid sharply. On Tuesday, a group of 11 governors, including five Republicans and independent Gov. Bill Walker (Alaska), urged the Senate to drop Graham-Cassidy, joining the AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and other patient advocacy groups, plus Jimmy Kimmel.
Efforts to write an alternative, bipartisan health-care bill proved fruitless. Republicans have a Sept. 30 deadline for passing a health-care bill with only 50 votes. Three GOP defections would kill the bill. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are believed to be opposed to the bill; Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) remain undeclared swing votes. Jeva Lange