Author: Domenico Montanaro

Donald Trump: Great For Ratings, But What About Governing?

NPR Through a video camera viewfinder, President Trump is seen addressing the crowd during the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images Let’s get this out of the way: health care and border-wall funding are probably not happening this week. There isn’t even a bill written for health care, and while conservatives like the draft language that’s circulating, moderates don’t. It’s the same problem Republicans have had from the beginning — appeal to conservatives, lose the moderates; appeal to moderates, lose the conservatives. It’s like a water balloon — no matter which end...

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Trump’s First 100 Days: An ‘Entry-Level’ Presidency

NPR President Trump delivers remarks at the Treasury Department Friday. He announced his intention to unveil a tax plan before his 100 days are up Saturday. Shawn Thew/Pool/Getty Images With any new president, there’s a learning curve. But for President Trump, it’s been steeper than others. “Mount Everest” is how Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, described it ahead of Trump’s 100th day in office, which is coming up Saturday, April 29. “It’s as steep as they come and ice-covered, and he didn’t bring very many knowledgeable Sherpas with him.”...

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A Special Election In Kansas Could Signal ‘Big League’ Problems For GOP, Trump

NPR President Trump recorded a robo call for the Republican in a special election in Kansas, signaling potential trouble for the GOP. It’s a race the party should have no trouble winning. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images A special election in Kansas Tuesday has Republicans sounding worried about an enthusiasm gap in the Trump era. Trump himself was apparently worried enough that he cut a robo call for Republican state party Treasurer Ron Estes. “On Tuesday, Republican Ron Estes needs your vote — and needs it badly,” the president says in the recorded call intended to boost Estes in the...

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8 Key Questions For Trump And The World After The Syria Strike

NPR President Donald Trump steps away from his podium on Thursday evening after addressing the U.S. launch of cruise missiles into Syria after a chemical weapons attack this week against civilians. Alex Brandon/AP President Trump made the biggest move of his presidency so far Thursday night — he struck Syrian military targets after an apparent chemical weapons attack allegedly ordered by Syria’s Bashar Assad against his own people. Trump can use this politically to paint himself as a strong leader who will act decisively. The move also came at a low point in his presidency, which has been marred...

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A Presidency Stalled And Sputtering

NPR President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police on March 28, 2017, at the White House. Evan Vucci/AP Since the Republican health care bill collapsed a little more than a week ago, President Trump’s White House has struggled with a path forward. Trump is dealing with finger-pointing and infighting that threatens to derail his agenda, as well as nagging Russia investigations on Capitol Hill that are raising more questions than answers about his team. And Trump has a real perception problem with the American public — he has the lowest approval rating at...

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Reality Check On Trump Calling For Bipartisanship On Health Care

NPR President Trump speaks at a reception for senators and their spouses in the East Room of the White House Tuesday. Andrew Harnik/AP The fallout from Friday’s Republican health care bill collapse is still trying to be understood. Right after the bill was pulled, President Trump teased that he wanted to work with Democrats and believed a bipartisan bill would be possible. But it wasn’t clear if that was just talk. On Tuesday night, he may have taken the first step to trying to reach across the aisle. “I know that we’re all going to make a deal on...

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FACT CHECK: Spin Aside, Trump’s National Security Council Has A Very Big Change

  Carolyn Kaster/AP Holding up papers with highlighted text, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said little has changed as it relates to the National Security Council between the Trump, Obama and Bush administrations. He thundered of “identical language” between (parts of the) 2017 and 2009 memos organizing the NSC. And he went further when it came to George W. Bush’s. I think if you give somebody with no experience and a political agenda, and a dubious one at that, a permanency … it’s saying, ‘We are not prioritizing professional expertise; we’re prioritizing political agenda.'” David Rothkopf, CEO and editor of FP group, which publishes Foreign Policy magazine “The makeup of the Principals Committee from 2017 is exactly as it was in both 2017 as it was in 2001,” Spicer boasted brandishing the texts in both hands, “100 percent identical, except we add the word also.” But that’s not true. President Trump and this White House have come under scrutiny and criticism in some corners in recent days for elevating Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to the Principals Committee of the NSC and demoting the director of national intelligence as well as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. In fact, Trump’s Principals Committee, as compared to Obama, does exactly that (bolding and italics ours for emphasis): Trump 2017 “The PC shall have as its regular attendees the Secretary...

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Clinton’s Popular-Vote Lead Is Now Over 2 Million, But Don’t Expect Big Changes

Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images Michigan moved one step closer to certifying its statewide presidential election results Friday. Counties there finished canvassing and making their results official, and while Hillary Clinton picked up a few thousand votes, President-elect Donald Trump is still more than 10,000 votes ahead. That’s a tiny fraction of the statewide vote, the closest in the state’s presidential history. The state will officially certify Trump the winner Monday. That will give him well over 300 electoral votes, a veritable electoral landslide. And yet, with vote continuing to be counted in California, Clinton has now expanded her popular-vote lead to more than 2 million (64.4 million to 62.3 million), the widest gap in raw vote in the history of the handful of times when the popular vote went the opposite direction as the Electoral College. The only time it happened outside the 1800s was in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote by about 500,000 votes over George W. Bush in 2000, but lost a contested race that came down to 537 votes in Florida. Democrats have now won six of the last seven presidential popular votes but only won the presidency in four of those elections. The discrepancy this year has led to a broader conversation about two things: 1. The possibility of the electors changing their votes to go with the popular vote on Dec. 19...

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