Lindsey Graham misses the good old days.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, the South Carolina Republican lamented that President Trump had changed in a disturbing way over the last week, clearly referencing the president's disparagement of Haiti, El Salvador, and unnamed African nations as "shithole countries."
"[Last] Tuesday we had a president who I was proud to golf with, call my friend, who understood immigration had to be bipartisan ... but he also understood the idea that we had to do it with compassion," Graham said before making a plea to the president: "I don't know where that guy went. I want him back."
Sen. Lindsey Graham: Trump understood that immigration reform had to be done with compassion, but something changed in a short period of time. “I don’t know where that guy went, I want him back” (corrects quote) https://t.co/LQshZ9pJqz
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 16, 2018
After he made his remarks, Graham ran into reporters outside the hearing and told them he believed the president's staff was to blame for this whole ordeal: "I think someone on his staff gave him really bad advice between 10 o'clock and 12 o'clock on Thursday." He added: "We cannot [make a deal on immigration] with people at the White House who have an irrational view on how to fix immigration." Kelly O'Meara Morales
Sen. Lindsey Graham: “We cannot do this with people in charge at the White House who have an irrational view of how to fix immigration" https://t.co/rxDILJixq9
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 16, 2018
Only 16 percent of Americans "like" how President Trump "conducts himself as president," a new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday revealed. A notable 58 percent of Americans reported they did not like Trump's conduct, while 25 percent said they have "mixed feelings" about it.
Republicans approved of Trump's conduct more than Democrats did, but still only 34 percent of Republicans reported liking the president's behavior. Meanwhile, 46 percent of Republicans reported having "mixed feelings," and 19 percent flat out said they disliked Trump's conduct. Just 2 percent of Democrats reported liking the president's conduct, while a whopping 89 percent said they did not.
In another striking finding, the poll revealed that nearly half — 45 percent — of Americans agree with the president on "no or almost no" issues. Only 31 percent of Republicans agree with Trump on "all or nearly all" issues.
The poll was conducted Aug. 15-21 among 1,893 adults. Its overall margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. Becca Stanek
On Monday, President Trump's approval rating fell to its lowest point ever in the Gallup Daily tracking poll. Now, just 34 percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 61 percent disapprove.
Brian Klaas of the London School of Economics put into perspective just how dismal Trump's disapproval rating is:
Days to hit 61% disapproval (Gallup)
H.W. Bush: Never
W. Bush: 1,932
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 14, 2017
Gallup released the ratings after a rocky weekend for the president, during which he was heavily criticized for being slow to directly condemn the violence of white nationalists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, HuffPost's Ariel Edwards-Levy noted that the downhill slide appears to have started even before the events in Charlottesville:
Fully willing to be convinced otherwise, but I'm not sure this looks like a drop that started in response to Charlottesville. pic.twitter.com/2vz7TxdgVk
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) August 14, 2017
The poll surveyed roughly 1,500 adults nationwide, and its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Becca Stanek
An overwhelming majority of Americans don't think their president conducts himself in a very presidential manner. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday revealed that precisely 70 percent of Americans believe President Trump has acted unpresidentially since he was sworn into office. Just 24 percent of Americans described Trump's behavior as "fitting and proper."
On top of that, 68 percent of Americans said they do not view Trump as a positive role model; 57 percent said the more they hear about Trump the less they like him; and 56 percent said Trump's behavior is "damaging to the presidency overall."
Those opinions could have something to do with Trump's tweeting: Sixty-eight percent deemed Trump's use of Twitter "inappropriate," while 52 percent called it "dangerous." The poll found that far more women (78 percent) found Trump's tweeting "inappropriate" than men (58 percent).
The poll was conducted by phone from July 10-13 among 1,001 adults. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Becca Stanek
President Trump has been abroad for less than 24 hours and already he's had two notably awkward encounters involving hands.
The first incident on Thursday involved Poland's first lady, Agata Kornhauser-Duda. After Trump shook hands onstage with Polish President Andrzej Duda, he saw the first lady headed his way with her hand extended and naturally assumed she wanted to shake his hand. She didn't.
She sailed right on past Trump and instead greeted first lady Melania Trump, leaving the president standing there with a stunned look on his face:
Folks, Poland's first lady did not diss Trump's handshake attempt. She was looking at Melania, shook her hand, then shook Trump's. Stop. pic.twitter.com/ta8DNsv0Th
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 6, 2017
Kornhauser-Duda apparently later shook Trump's hand.
Later Thursday, Trump was once again confronted with shaking German Chancellor Angela Merkel's hand — and this time he didn't refuse like he did when she visited the White House in May. Instead, the duo opted for an uncomfortably prolonged grip. Merkel seemed to make an attempt at smiling:
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) July 6, 2017
And Trump's handshaking on his trip abroad is just getting started: Trump is slated to meet with at least nine leaders during the upcoming Group of 20 summit, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Trump's disapproval rating hit 60 percent in Gallup's daily tracking poll out Tuesday. That marks an all-time high for Trump's presidency, beating out his previous high of 59 percent.
Just 36 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president. Trump narrowly missed also setting a record for that rating; his all-time low is 35 percent approval, from March 28.
The Hill reported that neither former Presidents Barack Obama nor Bill Clinton ever hit 60 percent disapproval in Gallup's survey, and former President George W. Bush didn't cross that threshold until he'd been president for nearly five years.
The poll surveyed roughly 1,500 adults by telephone, and its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Becca Stanek
President Trump's approval rating dipped to a dismal 34 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. A whopping 57 percent of Americans now disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, marking a "new low" for Trump in the poll. Quinnipiac's findings are about on par with FiveThirtyEight's average of Trump's disapproval rating, 55.9 percent, and 38.3 percent approval number.
Trump's atrocious approval rating is just the beginning of the bad news for the president. Quinnipiac also found that 68 percent of Americans do not believe Trump is level-headed, and one-third of Trump's own party questions just how level-headed he is. Only 32 percent of voters believe Trump "did nothing wrong" with Russia, while 31 percent say he did something "illegal" and 29 percent say he did something "unethical." Sixty-eight percent of voters reported being either "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about Trump's relationship with Russia.
Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Tim Malloy likened this poll to the moment in a "prize fight" where "someone in [Trump's] corner might be thinking about throwing in the towel." "There is zero good news for President Donald Trump in this survey, just a continual slide into a chasm of doubt about his policies and his very fitness to serve," Malloy said.
The Quinnipiac University Poll was conducted by phone from May 31 to June 6 among 1,361 voters nationwide. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. Becca Stanek
Top law firms refused to represent Trump in the Russia probe because of concerns he wouldn't 'pay' or 'listen'
President Trump had a tough time getting a lawyer to agree to represent him in the ongoing investigation into his team's potential ties to Russia's election meddling. Yahoo News reported Tuesday that "top lawyers with at least four major law firms" rejected Trump's request for representation, before Trump eventually got New York civil litigator Marc E. Kasowitz to sign on as his chief lawyer.
Lawyers' reasons for rejecting Trump varied, ranging from concerns about conflicts with existing clients, to a lack of time, to whether being associated with Trump could be detrimental to a firm's reputation and recruitment efforts. However, two reasons cropped up again and again, Yahoo News reported:
But a consistent theme, the sources said, was the concern about whether the president would accept the advice of his lawyers and refrain from public statements and tweets that have consistently undercut his position.
"The concerns were, 'The guy won't pay and he won't listen,'" said one lawyer close to the White House who is familiar with some of the discussions between the firms and the administration, as well as deliberations within the firms themselves. [Yahoo News]
The guy Trump did get to take charge of his case isn't particularly experienced in dealing with congressional and Justice Department investigations, Yahoo News reported. Kasowitz has apparently been reaching out to Washington legal veterans to get tips on how to build Trump's defense strategy.