September 20, 2018

It's not surprising that President Trump told Hill.TV on Wednesday, "I don't have an attorney general," people close to him shared with The Washington Post.

Trump doesn't feel like anyone is protecting him, they said, and he remains angry over an anonymous senior official writing a critical op-ed for The New York Times, as well as unknown staffers feeding unflattering information to Bob Woodward for his new book, Fear. It's not just Trump wondering who has his back — his family members and longtime friends are also looking at everyone suspiciously. "Everybody in the White House now has to look around and ask, 'Who's taping? Who's leaking? And who's on their way out the door?' It's becoming a game of survival," a Republican strategist who works with the White House told the Post.

Trump may not have a clue who wrote the op-ed or spoke to Woodward, but he does know that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last year from the Russia investigation, leading to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and that's why he directed so much of his ire toward Sessions on Wednesday. "I don't have an attorney general." Trump lamented. "It's very sad." He told Hill.TV that Sessions was "mixed up and confused" in his Senate confirmation hearing, and even though the attorney general has taken a hardline approach to immigration, Trump is "not happy at the border, I'm not happy with numerous things." Catherine Garcia

May 22, 2018

When President Trump welcomed someone named Melanie Trump home from the hospital this weekend, there was never any doubt that the tweet was composed by the man himself — but maybe there should have been.

Trump is known for firing off tweets at all hours of the day, and they often have misspellings, typos, and other errors. It's been assumed that he crafted most of his more colorful messages, with the rambling sentences and random capitalization a sure sign of authentic authorship, but two White House staffers told The Boston Globe that aides are drafting tweets that are indistinguishable from posts written by Trump.

When someone wants Trump to tweet about a specific issue, they write him a memo and include three or four sample tweets that follow Trump's style down to the excessive exclamation points. Trump chooses the one he likes best, the staffers told the Globe, and while he sometimes will tweak it a bit, he often tweets messages as is. While aides do try to channel their inner Trump when drafting the tweets, they draw the line at misspelling words and names on purpose.

There are other clues, too. The staffers said that if there are photos attached to a tweet or hashtags, assume that an aide tweeted for Trump, and even if the tweet is difficult to decipher, that doesn't mean anything — the staffers are becoming experts at mimicking Trump's distinctive style of tweeting, and think typos and errors appeal to the average American. As Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, noted to the Globe, "Grammatical conventions tend to be elitist and always have been." Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2018

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."

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

August 29, 2017

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

August 14, 2017

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:

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:

The poll surveyed roughly 1,500 adults nationwide, and its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Becca Stanek

July 17, 2017

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

July 6, 2017

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:

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:

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.

While you await the president's next cringeworthy handshake, revisit his past encounters with The Week's visual history of Trump's most awkward, tender, and aggressive handshakes. Becca Stanek

June 13, 2017

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

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