Since the release of the still heavily redacted special counsel’s report, Donald Trump’s approval ratings have plunged three points in the Reuters/IPSOS poll to his lowest level for the year. And that’s after that poll’s results had already dropped another three points from the days immediately following the “complete exoneration” letter from Attorney General William Barr. In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, Trump’s approval rating dropped from a net 7 point disapproval on the day before the report appeared to a staggering 18 point gap in the days following its release. Meanwhile, Democrats are holding strategy calls not on whether or not to impeach Trump, but on how swiftly they should move.
The information contained in the Mueller report has badly hurt Donald Trump, and perhaps the most astonishing thing is exactly where it has hurt him. Trump had almost no support to lose among Democratic voters, so it’s not surprising that the bulk of the movement comes in a sharp decline among independents, but in the Morning Consult poll, Trump also shed Republicans, leaving those who say they “strongly approve” of his position at below 50 percent. More than a third of Republicans have fallen into the tepid “somewhat approve” category.
The result of the Mueller report isn’t just a lot of damning information on Trump, but a truckload of vindication for the press. Reporters who have been covering Trump’s connections with Russia and his efforts to halt the investigation found that in nearly every case, the information they had pieced together, or reports that had come to them through sources, were accurate. There really were dozens of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. There really were major efforts by Trump to halt the investigation through stonewalling, lying, threatening witnesses, suborning perjury, and attempting to simply pull the plug.
In the nearly-naked light of the redacted report, Donald Trump is revealed as a criminal and a liar, someone who has abused both the public trust and the power of his office. The number of lies and the extent of the duplicity is such that Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has been reduced to appearing on television to make statements like “It’s not a crime” and “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians” in the middle of a presidential campaign.
But Donald Trump only has one speed—angry. So when he should be apologizing to the nation, instead Trump spent the morning on Twitter demanding an apology.
Over and over, in a long series of angry tweets, Trump again attacked the “Fake News Media.” In particular, Trump went after the New York Times, demanding that the paper “get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness” before again naming the paper as the “the Enemy of the People!”
What, exactly, does the New York Times have to beg forgiveness for, other than a number of interviews in which they were entirely too kind to Trump? Or for being far, far too credulous in reporting on the letter from William Barr by describing that letter as the Mueller report and assuming that Barr had made an accurate summary of the report’s contents? On every investigative note over the last two years, the report appears to have proven the Times, and the Washington Post, and many others to be right.
But Trump isn’t interested in right. Just the Right. Minutes after telling the New York Times to get on its knees and beg his forgiveness, Trump was back to praise Fox and Friends while attacking MSNBC’s Morning Joe as “dumb and sick” and calling CNN a “colossal failure.”
And then Trump went on to claim that Twitter had somehow “not treated him well” despite being his platform of choice. According to Trump, Twitter is prejudiced against him “as a conservative,” and then … Trump lets slip his real complaint.
Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people. Different names-over 100 M……….But should be much higher than that if Twitter wasn’t playing their political games.
Donald Trump has 59.9 million followers on Twitter. Who would it be who has over 100 million followers? That would be President Barack Obama, who clocks in at 106 million. Despite the fact that Trump tweets much more regularly, and that his tweets now often carry the first announcement of some radical change in U.S. policy, he still falls tens of millions short when it comes to measuring up to Obama. Trump is complaining that Twitter routinely has to wipe away hundreds of thousands of bots and fake accounts among his followers … because he would gladly take those bots if they allowed his numbers to be anywhere near those of Obama.
Finally, after a morning of complaints about the news media that had reported accurately on his crimes, and the social media platform that provides him his biggest audience, Trump turned to making claims about the country “being respected again,” which is perhaps his biggest lie of the morning. Trump has driven a wedge between the United States and its allies for the same reason that he’s wilting under the light of the Mueller report—credibility. As in, he has none.