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April 25, 2017

As much as he hated to say it, conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh admitted Tuesday on his national radio show that he has an inkling President Trump is "caving" on his promise to use the spending bill to get his funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. "I'm very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case," Limbaugh said. "But it looks like, from here — right here, right now —it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall."

Limbaugh argued that Trump should not be intimidated by Democrats' "stupid silly threat of a government shutdown to get their way," which in this case is not funding Trump's border wall. If the government does not pass a budget by its Friday deadline, the government will shut down. However, Limbaugh warned that if Trump forgoes his plan to risk a government shutdown for his proposed border wall, then Democrats "will have just learned that this threat works on Trump too, not just all the other Republicans."

Trump said Monday that he would consider getting his funding for the wall in the fall, instead of as part of the spending bill. On Tuesday, however, Trump tweeted that he has not changed his position on getting the wall built.

Listen to the Limbaugh segment below. Becca Stanek

April 21, 2017

Before President Trump scoffed at the "ridiculous standard" of measuring a leader's success by his first 100 days in office, he signed and delivered a two-page contract outlining his "100-day action plan to Make America Great Again." But unless Trump gets really, really busy between now and April 29, when he hits 100 days as president, it's looking like he won't exactly check off every promise he made in his "contract with the American voter."

On the first page of the contract, which Trump released when he was still running for office, he pledged to pursue "six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, D.C.," "seven actions to protect American workers," and "five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law." Those actions included labeling China a currency manipulator (he announced earlier this month he now thinks the Chinese are "not currency manipulators") and suspending immigration for "terror-prone regions" (both of his immigration executive orders have been blocked by federal judges). He has, however, made headway on getting his Supreme Court pick confirmed, rolling back regulations, and pushing "clean coal."

His second page lists the legislative goals he planned to work on with Congress — and boasts even fewer successes. Trump had promised he'd repeal and replace ObamaCare, pass a "middle class tax relief and simplification act," enact an "affordable childcare and eldercare act," and get his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall fully funded with "the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost." None of that has happened.

Trump capped off his lengthy list of promises with the bolded line, "This is my pledge to you." "And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by, and for the people," the contract said.

Read the entirety of Trump's "contract with the American voter" below. Becca Stanek

March 21, 2017
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President Trump's approval rating continues to tumble, but his party's health-care proposal might be even less popular than he is. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver reported Tuesday that, on average, only 30 percent of voters are in favor of the GOP-backed plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Forty-seven percent of voters are against the plan, formally titled the American Health Care Act.

Former President Barack Obama had plenty of trouble rallying support for his signature Affordable Care Act, but his net support for the bill was still better than Trump's at the same stage. While 49 percent opposed ObamaCare when it finally passed in March 2010, 40 percent favored it — a net support rating of negative 9 percent. The net support of the AHCA's average approval ratings is negative 17 percent.

Silver noted the same year Democrats passed ObamaCare, they "lost 63 seats in Congress, in part because of the health-care bill's unpopularity."

To find the the GOP bill's net support, Silver considered results from polls by Fox News, Morning Consult, Public Policy Polling, SurveyMonkey, YouGov/CBS News, and YouGov/Huffington Post. Read his full analysis over at FiveThirtyEight. Becca Stanek

March 6, 2017
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Not even a well-done steak could appease President Trump as he reportedly spent the weekend fuming over the leaks and allegations plaguing his administration.

This portrait of the president's weekend comes from The Washington Post, which spoke with 17 top White House officials, members of Congress, and friends of the president, some of whom described a commander in chief made paranoid by the information being fed to him and the conclusions he was drawing. On Wednesday, Trump was riding high off his well-received speech the night before, but that was quickly overshadowed by the Post's report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador during Trump's presidential campaign, despite telling Congress otherwise during his confirmation hearing. Aides said Trump was livid when Sessions agreed to recuse himself from any investigations regarding Trump and Russia, believing Sessions was giving in to the media and critics, and also angry that former campaign adviser Carter Page was giving television interviews despite the fact that he was no longer part of his team.

Meanwhile, White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon was telling Trump that "the 'deep state' is a direct threat to his presidency," the Post reports, and by the time Saturday morning rolled around, ensconced yet again at his private club in Florida, Trump surprised all of his aides by tweeting unfounded claims that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones last year. Conservative media mogul Christopher Ruddy, a longtime friend of Trump's and Mar-a-Lago member, told the Post that Trump ran into him on Saturday, and said he will be "proven right" about the allegations. "He was pissed," Ruddy said. "I haven't seen him this angry."

Trump's spirits were momentarily lifted when he saw that the Sunday newspapers were dominated by his Twitter claims, but he became mad all over again when few Republicans defended him on the morning talk shows, the Post says. Read more about Trump's woe-filled weekend — and his belief that his presidency is "being tormented in ways known and unknown" by everyone from intelligence figures to members of the media — at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

February 27, 2017
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President Trump wasn't impressed with the 2017 Academy Awards. In an interview Monday with Breitbart News, Trump said the awards show Sunday night was "a little sad," probably because stars spent too much time criticizing him. "It took away from the glamor of the Oscars," Trump said of the night's political commentary. "It didn't feel like a very glamorous evening. I've been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad."

Trump suggested the mix-up at the end — when La La Land was mistakenly awarded Best Picture, only for the award to be passed off minutes later to the rightful winner Moonlight — actually may have happened because everyone was paying so much attention to him. "I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn't get the act together at the end," Trump said.

Trump was mentioned many times during the awards show. Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel repeatedly ribbed Trump throughout the evening, even tweeting at the president at one point, and Casey Affleck deemed Trump's policies "abhorrent" during his Best Actor acceptance speech. Other stars slammed the commander-in-chief without even saying his name, rallying support for immigrants in the face of Trump's travel ban and calling for tolerance and acceptance. However, the Best Picture mix-up more likely had something to do with presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway being handed the wrong envelope. Becca Stanek

February 22, 2017
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The latest Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday revealed Americans have a pretty bleak impression of their new commander-in-chief. President Trump earned his lowest net approval rating since he took office, with just 38 percent approving of the job he's done so far and 55 percent of Americans disapproving.

Americans didn't rate Trump's "personal qualities" much better:

  • 55 percent said Trump "is not honest."
  • 55 percent said he lacks "good leadership skills."
  • 63 percent said he "is not level-headed."
  • 60 percent said he "does not share their values."

In what might be the biggest blow to Trump, the poll also found that Americans trust the media — which Trump recently declared the "enemy of the American people" — more than they trust Trump to tell "the truth about the important issues."

All in all, Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Tim Malloy deemed this a "terrible survey one month in." "President Donald Trump's popularity is sinking like a rock," Malloy said in a press release. "He gets slammed on honesty, empathy, level-headedness, and the ability to unite. And two of his strong points, leadership and intelligence, are sinking to new lows."

The poll was conducted by telephone from Feb. 16-21 among 1,323 registered voters. The margin of error among registered voters is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. Becca Stanek

February 16, 2017
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Only 39 percent of Americans approve of the job President Trump has done in his first month in office — and a whopping 56 percent disapprove, a new Pew Research Center poll released Thursday revealed.

Particularly notable is the "intensity of the public's early views of Trump," Pew reported. Trump seems to be the sort of president people either love or hate, with 75 percent either approving strongly or disapproving strongly of Trump's track record thus far. Only 17 percent reported more middling feelings about America's newly minted commander-in-chief.

Already, Trump has beat out former President Barack Obama's strong disapproval ratings, sinking to a more intense low than Obama ever did during his eight years in office. Former President George W. Bush only saw these levels of strong disapproval at the end of his second term.

The Pew poll was conducted via telephone from Feb. 7-12 among 1,503 adults. The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. Becca Stanek

February 13, 2017

President Trump's approval rating tumbled to an all-time low in the latest Gallup tracking poll. As of Feb. 11, just 40 percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 55 percent disapprove. Around the same time in former President Barack Obama's first term, Obama boasted a 65 percent approval rating and a 21 percent disapproval rating.

Trump's latest numbers mark a steep drop from when he first took office. On Jan. 22, he stood at an even 45 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rate. In the course of three short weeks, Trump's approval rating has shed five points, while his disapproval rate has simultaneously jumped by 10.

The Gallup poll surveys 1,500 adults across the country by telephone. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Becca Stanek

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