White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, a devout Catholic, couldn't wait to meet Pope Francis alongside President Trump on Wednesday, a source "close to the White House" told CNN. "That's all he wanted," the insider said.
But when the big day finally arrived, Spicer wasn't invited. Trump had everyone from his wife Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, his communications adviser Hope Hicks, his former bodyguard Keith Schiller, and his social media director Dan Scavino by his side — but Spicer was apparently told "there wasn't room for him on the roster."
The White House insider told CNN this should "'very much' be seen as a slight." The two times that former President Barack Obama visited the Vatican, his press secretaries were in attendance. Spicer additionally hasn't been seen at some top-level meetings, amid reports that Trump is considering nixing his daily on-camera White House briefings.
The economy grew at just a 0.7 percent rate in the first quarter of 2017, the Commerce Department reported Friday, marking the slowest quarterly expansion rate in three years. The clip is a steep drop-off from the previous period, when the economy grew at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Despite President Trump's promises to boost economic growth, consumer spending in his first quarter in office increased by just 0.3 percent, which Bloomberg reported was "the worst performance since 2009."
Economists had projected a sluggish first quarter and expect growth to bounce back in the second quarter. Reuters noted that this isn't a "true picture of the economy's health," as the labor market reaches "near full employment" and consumer confidence soars. Becca Stanek
A new poll by Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes revealed more than a third of Republicans aren't certain the freedom of the press, protected by the Constitution's First Amendment, is actually a democratic necessity. The poll found that 36 percent of Republicans believe the press' freedom "does more harm than good." Just 13 percent of Democrats said the same.
The majority of Democrats and Republicans, however, do believe in the value of a free press. The poll found that 61 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats believe freedom of the press is "necessary."
Most Americans are still relying on TV, newspapers, and talk radio as their "most accurate and honest" sources of news, though 8 percent said they depend on Facebook. More Americans said they rely on their mother (6 percent) for accurate news than on President Trump (5 percent).
Check out the full breakdown of the poll in the nifty graphic below. Becca Stanek
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 25, 2017
At a press conference Friday after GOP leadership canceled the vote on the American Health Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) admitted "doing big things is hard." "Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains," Ryan said. "Well, we're feeling those pains today."
Though Ryan conceded the House Freedom Caucus contributed to the GOP being short on votes, he laid the blame on the Republican Party as a whole. He noted the party will "need time to reflect" and consider what could've been done better.
Ryan said Republicans "came really close" but ultimately "came up short," explaining why he advised President Trump earlier Friday that "the best thing to do" would be to pull the bill. "ObamaCare is the law of the land," Ryan said. "It's going to remain the law of the land until it's replaced."
Speaker Ryan: “We're gonna be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's gonna take us to replace" it. pic.twitter.com/1z8DrHNRbc
— ABC News (@ABC) March 24, 2017
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
President-elect Donald Trump won't reveal "anything that was privileged or was shared with him classified" when he makes his promised comments on Russian hacking this week, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday on CNN's New Day. Despite Trump's claims at a New Year's Eve celebration on Saturday that he'd reveal on Tuesday or Wednesday the things he knows that "other people don't know," Spicer said it's "not a question of necessarily revealing." "He's going to talk about his conclusions and where he thinks things stand," Spicer said, noting Trump will also "make sure people understand there's a lot of questions out there" in regards to Russian's involvement in cyber attacks ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
Spicer indicated that those lingering questions make it impossible to say how Trump would respond should a final intelligence report confirm Russia's involvement. "I know it's frustrating for you that we're doing it in a logical way," Spicer told CNN's Alisyn Camerota, who had a hard time believing Trump's team had not yet even considered a possible response. "But no, we're going to get all the information, get briefed properly and then make a decision. We're not going to put the cart before the horse."
Catch the rest of Spicer's interview below. Becca Stanek
— New Day (@NewDay) January 2, 2017
With a nasty winter storm halting other presidential campaigns in Iowa, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) plowed ahead — even though that meant meeting the sole attendee at his latest event. "The very last event of the night, we actually had a whopping total of one person show up, but by God, he was glad to see me," O'Malley, who is far behind rival Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nod, said Tuesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "So we spent the time with him."
The voter didn't leave convinced. Though O'Malley spent the event "working on him," O'Malley explained, he just wanted "to see the whole campaign play out" before settling on any one candidate. Still, O'Malley was just happy somebody came. "We almost canceled that last event but we were out there anyway," O'Malley said, "so we plowed through." Becca Stanek