State Department deletes blog post critics said promoted Trump's Mar-a-Lago

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department is facing criticism for a blog post that details the history of Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump's Florida estate.

The post titled "Mar-a-Lago: The Winter White House" was originally published on April 4 by ShareAmerica, a blog run by the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs, which works to create content that promotes America with embassies and consulates around the world.

The State Department denied that it was promoting Trump's private club, saying in a statement, "The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post."

The post, which was also featured on the website for U.S. Embassy in the U.K., portrays Mar-a-Lago as a "dreams-come-true" story for the property's original builder, socialite and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Post, who willed the estate to the U.S. government upon her death in 1973, wanted her property to one day be used "as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries," according to the blog post.

However, the blog post outlines that her plan didn't work as Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter never used the property, and it was eventually sold back to the Post Foundation in 1981 due to its expensive maintenance cost.

In 1985, Trump purchased the property and 10 years later introduced it to the public as the Mar-a-Lago Club.

Since Trump became commander-in-chief, the blog post says, Post's presidential dreams have come true with Trump regularly working out of the house and using the club in February to host Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie.

When news of the blog post made its way to Twitter Monday, several politicians took to social media to express their concerns over the use of taxpayer dollars and the promotion of Trump's personal property.




A few minutes later, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, posted a link to the post saying, "Here is the full post in its kleptocratic glory."

Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, tweeted a link to the post with the caption, "Use of public office for private gain pure and simple."



Former President Barack Obama's chief ethics attorney, Norm Eisen, also commented on the issue when asked about what could be done.

A White House official said the White House was not aware of the Mar-a-Lago post and found out about its existence through the media.

The post remains on the website for the U.S. Embassy in the U.K., but has been deleted from ShareAmerica's website and replaced with the State Department's statement.

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer defends Trump's 'significant' work in 100 days

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended the president's record less than a week before the benchmark of the administration's first 100 days in office.

"When you look at the totality of what we've accomplished ... it is unbelievable what he has been able to do," Spicer said at Monday's press briefing.

He bristled at questions specifically asking whether the president would consider inaction or stalled action on issues that were regular parts of his campaign speeches a failure, including the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Spicer said "you can cherry pick" issues "to look and pick out two or three things" that were not completely addressed during the first 100 days but argued that it would be an inaccurate picture of the administration's work.

"It's easy to nitpick," Spicer said.

"I don't think there's any question that the president has done a significant amount on the issues that he put forward in the campaign," he said, citing how Trump has signed "a record number" of executive orders.

"We are very proud and the president is very proud of what he's been able to accomplish in the first 100 days ... but we also want to start talking about the next 100 days," Spicer said.

Spicer also said that while he "can't guarantee" a government shutdown will be avoided, he doesn't think it's going to happen.

"I can't guarantee," Spicer said of ongoing budget negotiations. "But I think that the work that [Office of Management and Budget] Director [Mick] Mulvaney and others have made in this front and negotiations have been very positive. They feel very confident that won't happen.

"We feel very confident that the government is not going to shut down," he said.



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From A+ to F, voters grade President Trump as he nears 100 days in office YORK) -- With President Donald Trump nearing 100 days in office -- and 96 percent of voters who picked him in November saying they'd do it again today -- ABC News' David Muir traveled to counties in three battleground states to see how residents would grade the commander-in-chief.

Muir, the anchor of "World News Tonight," spoke with voters in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin; just 77,000 votes in those three states decided the election. Muir went to counties where the difference in the vote between Trump and Hillary Clinton was 1 percent or less.

In Michigan's Saginaw County, just two hours north of Detroit, the difference in votes was just 1 percent between the two candidates.

Marianne Bird, who voted for Trump in November, said that she'd give the president a B-minus and that she wanted to see compromise in Washington, D.C.

"I think he can't do everything on his own," said Bird, a teacher who also works the register at Fuzzy's Diner in Saginaw. "The stonewalling isn't helping somebody like me. It might help people on the East Coast and the West Coast, but it's not helping people in the middle -- and I think it's the people in the middle that voted Trump in."

The election is over, she said.

"They have to do something about health care. You have to do something about jobs. … At least, give the guy a chance. That doesn't mean you forget but we have to forgive and we have to move on," Bird said.

Poitiea Price, a Marine veteran, and fiancee Tranica McClendon, however, said they'd both give Trump a D-minus.

"We don't hear anything from him. ... He's not really answering the questions," Price said.

"You talk about draining the swamp? And you can just look at this guy's Cabinet and tell that he loves the swamp. He loves it," he said.

Meanwhile, in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, Clinton took the county by only 532 votes.

Frank Roggeman, a Vietnam veteran who voted for Trump, said he was a little disappointed in the current administration.

"They couldn't get the health care bill through. And he's having all kinds of problems with the Democrats so it's a little disappointing. I don't blame him," he said.

He said that Trump was trying to keep the promises he'd made to voters during his campaign but that it'd be a "rocky road" if he was unable to do so.

"He hasn't built ... the wall yet. I know he's working on that and he's going back to the health care again and tax reform. So I mean he's trying but I don't know whether he has the political capital to get it done," Roggeman said.

And Debbie Strangio, a Navy veteran, said she'd give Trump an F.

"If I could give a lower grade, I would," she told Muir. "I think he's every embarrassing when he talks to foreign leaders. He doesn't sound like he has a vocabulary more than a third-grader."

Trump's foreign policy moves and his vocal impasse with North Korea concerned Strangio, a garden nursery manager.

"He's never made it a secret that he would use nuclear bombs and that scares me. I personally think by the time it's done we're going to be in a World War III," she said.

Retired construction worker Rich Buda, also a Marine, said he'd give Trump an A-plus.

"He told us what he's going to do and he's been doing it," Buda told Muir.

Back in the Midwest, in Wisconsin's Sauk County, the vote was also razor thin. Trump won by a mere 109 votes.

At a park in Bonnaroo, the county's largest city, Marlene Buchanan, a grandmother, said she worried about her disabled son and her country.

"I am very uncomfortable with Donald Trump," said Buchanan, a Clinton supporter. "He has done some things that I don't agree with and he has also placed people in positions who I feel are definitely not qualified for the roles that they have in his administration."

Buchanan said she'd give the president an F.

But Eric Grunewald, a Trump supporter, said that in his opinion, the president had sort of "hit home" with gun rights and other issues.

"If I had to give the Trump administration a grade, it would probably be a B, B-plus but it's still too early to tell," Grunewald said. "Compared to the Obama administration, I think he's willing to make harsher decisions and do things that the Obama administration was afraid to do."

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Obama makes first post-presidential public appearance in Chicago -- Former President Obama on Monday offered a preview of what his "next job" might be during his first public remarks since leaving office, with no mention of his White House successor.

"So, what's been going on while I've been gone?" he joked at the start of a panel discussion.

Obama, who had taken some vacation time after handing the White House keys to President Trump, made his return to the public stage at the University of Chicago, where he taught constitutional law for years.

While there are a number of issues he cares about, Obama said, he hopes to help inspire the younger generation to get more involved in civic engagement.

"On the back end of my presidency, now that it's completed, I'm spending a lot of time thinking about what is the most important thing I can do for my next job?" said Obama, who was joined by six young adults from schools in the Chicago area.

Obama, 55, added: "The single most important thing I can do is to help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world."

The former president didn't mention his successor once during the discussion, but he did comment on the polarizing political climate.

"Because of changes in the media, we now have a situation in which everybody's listening to people who already agree with them and are further and further reinforcing their own realities to the neglect of a common reality that allows us to have a healthy debate and then try to find common ground and actually move solutions forward," Obama said.

"I think a lot of us who have been in politics for a while do see a change from 20 years ago, certainly 30 years ago, where it used to be everybody kind of had the same information. And we had different opinions about it, but there were a common baseline of facts," Obama said.

He added: “If you're liberal, then you're on MSNBC and conservative, you're on Fox News. You're reading The Wall Street Journal or you're reading The New York Times, or whatever your choices are.”

"Or maybe you're just looking at cat videos, which is fine," Obama joked.

Obama also said he hopes that his foundation and presidential center, which is set to be built in the Windy City, will create more "pathways for young people getting involved" and "so that when somebody like me 35 years ago decides I have got something to contribute that we will have eased the path for them."

"Maybe they will learn from the mistakes I and others have made so that they can seize the future," Obama said.

The Democratic president, who was a U.S. senator from Illinois before winning the presidency in 2008 and a second term in 2012, also teased the latest book on which he’s working while reflecting on the value of failure in a political career.

"I'm writing a book about my political journey and as I was writing, I thought about that race," Obama said of his loss to Rep. Bobby Rush in a 2001 Congressional race in Illinois.

Obama, who was critical of President Trump during the election and as of late has had to watch key legislation and regulations he passed get rolled back, concluded on a positive note.

"I have to say that there is a reason why I am always optimistic even when things look like they are sometimes not going the way I want and it is because of young people like this," Obama said. "It gives you a sense of what is possible for this country."

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Trump to sign executive orders on offshore drilling, veterans affairs

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In the week that will mark his 100th day in office, President Trump will sign four new executive orders, including one calling for a review of offshore-drilling regulations and another directing a review of national-monument designations on federal lands.

The president also plans to to sign an order establishing an "office of accountability and whistleblower protection" at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The new office will be charged with helping the Veterans Affairs secretary "discipline or terminate [Veterans Affairs] managers or employees who fail to carry out their duties in helping our veterans," according to a White House official.

Trump is also expected Tuesday to sign an executive order creating a task force "to examine the concerns of rural America and suggest legislative and regulatory changes to address them," the White House said.

The order on national monuments will direct the Interior Department to review prior monument designations under a more than 100-year-old law that authorizes the president to establish federal lands as national monuments.

And as part of the administration's push to expand offshore drilling, the president on Friday is expected to sign a directive called, America First Energy Executive Order, calling for a review of offshore oil and gas locations and rules.

The four new executive orders will bring Trump's total to 32 in his first 100 days, which the White House says is the highest number by any president since World War II.

Prior to his election, Trump criticized his predecessor's use of executive actions as a way of going around around Congress.

"I don't think he even tries anymore. I think he just signs executive actions," Trump said of then-President Obama in December 2015.

Trump pointed to the U.S. government's system of checks and balances.

"That's the way the system is supposed to work. And then all of a sudden, I hear, 'He tried, he can't do it,' and then, boom, and then another one, boom,” he said.

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What to expect for President Trump's last week of his first 100 days

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Saturday marks the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency. While Trump has called the symbolic marker a "ridiculous standard," he is nonetheless pulling out all the stops in the final days beforehand.

Among the plans are scheduled executive order signings, speeches and discussions with senators and heads of state. Members of his cabinet will also travel "outside the beltway, spreading the President's message across the country," the White House says.

Here's a breakdown of what Trump and his cabinet has planned for the week:


President Trump

  • Speaks with NASA Dr. Peggy Whitson, who will break the record for the most cumulative time spent in space for any American astronaut. The White House wrote that the two will speak about "the importance of empowering women to pursue educations and careers in STEM fields."
  • Hosts a working lunch with the ambassadors from the countries on the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.
  • Attends a reception with conservative media, which the White House wrote honors "his commitment to opening up the White House to a more diverse set of media outlets."
  • Has dinner with Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.


  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao visits the Ohio State Transportation Research Center.


President Trump

  • Delivers remarks at the National Holocaust Memorial Museum's National Day of Remembrance.
  • Hosts a roundtable discussion with farmers and signs an executive order "to protect and provide relief for rural America." The White House said this executive order creates a task force to "examine the concerns of rural America and suggest legislative and regulatory changes to address them."
  • Has dinner with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


  • Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon travels to Orlando, Florida for a roundtable with Hispanic business owners.


President Trump

  • Outlines principles for tax reform.

White House team

  • Hosts senators for National Security Council briefing on four principals on North Korea.


  • Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will visit Columbus, Ohio for a listening tour on urban housing.


President Trump

  • Welcomes the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri.
  • Signs an executive order that will establish an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection in the Department of Veterans Affairs. The office will "help the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to discipline or terminate VA managers or employees who fail to carry out their duties in helping our veterans" and will "identify barriers to the Secretary's authority to put the well-being of our veterans first," according to a White House official.


  • Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress.


President Trump

  • Signs several executive orders on energy, which the White House wrote will "move our country even further toward our goal of energy independence." One of the orders, which the White House is calling the "America First Energy Executive Order," orders a "review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing off-shore oil and gas exploration."
  • Travels to Atlanta to deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association's Leadership Forum.


  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chairs the U.N. Security Council meeting.
  • Sonny Perdue will complete a multi-day trip to Wisconsin. Perdue is expected to be confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture on Monday evening.

Saturday, Trump's 100th day in office

President Trump

  • President Trump will be skipping the White House Correspondent's dinner to "speak straight to the people" about his first 100 days as president during a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Trump is also expected to sign an executive order that directs the Department of the Interior to review monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which authorizes the president to declare federal lands to be national monuments and therefore restrict the usage of that land. The White House said this executive order will direct the Interior Department to "suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monument proclamations."
  • The White House also noted that the expected executive order signings this week will bring the number of executive orders signed by Trump up to 32 by Friday, which is "the most executive orders signed by a president since World War Two" in the first 100 days.

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Russia investigations on the Hill: Where things stand

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Multiple committee investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign will continue to push forward as Congress returns this week.

Here's where things stand and what to watch for in the next few days:

House Intelligence Committee

Members of the House Intelligence Committee are hoping to get back to work after chairman Devin Nunes withdrew himself from the panel's Russia investigation amid ethics complaints. The panel, whose Russia work is now headed by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), announced Friday that it invited FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers to appear for a closed door hearing on May 2. The committee also invited former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to testify in an open setting sometime after May 2. Nunes had previously cancelled an open hearing with those three former officials, a move his Democratic counterpart Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) quickly condemned as politically motivated.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: Members and committee staff are in the process of reviewing National Security Agency documents at Ft. Meade, Maryland, related to former national security adviser Susan Rice's requests to "unmask" particular Trump campaign officials caught up in surveillance of foreign targets.

Senate Intelligence Committee

The Senate Intelligence Committee is still interviewing analysts involved in the 2016 intelligence community report on Russia’s interference that was ordered up by President Obama. Once they are done with those interviews, which could still take months given the amount of records they’re sifting through, Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-Va.) has said the committee will then receive testimony from top Trump officials who have had contact with Russian officials, including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“We’ve gotta make sure we have all our information first so we know the appropriate questions to ask,” Warner said.

In terms of timing, Warner said he and Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) may not wrap up their investigation until after the August congressional recess. Warner has also not ruled out interviewing Rice as part of his panel's investigation but has said he has seen no evidence that Rice did anything wrong.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: Committee staff are expected to continue their off-site interviews with intelligence analysts. The full committee also has its two weekly closed hearings in which it gets updates on all intelligence matters, and on Wednesday, the committee will hold a hearing into the confirmation of the CIA chief counsel.

House Oversight Committee

Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has said he wants to investigate potential leaks of classified information to reporters about Russia-Trump contacts as well as investigating Mike Flynn’s business dealings in Russia. The committee is investigating payments President Trump's former national security adviser received from foreign governments and also reviewing security protocol at Mar-a-Lago and various issues regarding the Trump Organization.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: The committee has no hearings scheduled on Russia, focusing instead on unrelated issues like “the unintended consequences of the foreign account tax compliance act.” They are also asking the Trump Organization how it plans to donate profits from foreign government payments to the U.S. Treasury, which might involve Russia but only tangentially.

Graham and the Senate Judiciary Committee

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the chairman and top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Crime and Terrorism, are investigating Russian efforts to influence democratic elections in the U.S. and abroad. They met in early March with FBI director Comey and plan to announce a second hearing date and witness panel in the next few weeks.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: We await the committee’s announcement of its upcoming hearing.

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"Shattered" authors: Bill Clinton pushed for different tone in Hillary's campaign

Barbara Kinney for Hillary For America(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton's warnings to speak to swing voters fell upon deaf ears during Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, according to the authors of Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign, a new book about purported dysfunction inside the campaign team.

Political journalists Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen spoke with ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on the newest episode of the Powerhouse Politics podcast about the findings they detailed in their book and the backlash they’re getting from the staffers at the center of it all.

The 2016 Clinton team painted itself as "a joyful campaign," Amie Parnes said. "It actually wasn't."

In the book, the authors describe how the campaign ignored the advice of Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, to reach out to communities that weren't already on board with her policies.

"He thought, these egg heads don't really know politics. They don't understand persuasion," Allen said, adding that he wanted to go to suburban and rural areas where they likely wouldn't win the majority. "He knew there was some power just in showing up."

Allen said that in Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, Bill Clinton was blamed for asserting himself too much in the primary campaign's strategy and ultimately obstructing her chances at the presidency. This time around, he tried to stay behind the scenes "because he didn't want to be blamed for defeating his wife again."

Allen and Parnes also detail in the book the night of the presidential election, when Clinton chose to wait until morning to give a concession speech -- a move many found to be odd.

Allen said she simply "wasn't ready to make that speech." She hadn't reviewed her concession speech, there wasn't a speech location available and some believed there was a possibility that more votes could come in. Her team had also said she wanted to "gather her thoughts."

That night, Parnes and Allen wrote, she apologized to former President Barrack Obama on the phone.

"It's a painful moment for her, she's feeling the weight of that moment," Parnes said.

Several Clinton campaign staffers have since come out in force denying the book's revelations and making jokes about "infighting" along with pictures of happy staffers on Twitter.

"It's hard to read a depiction of the campaign that paints a dedicated, cohesive team as mercenaries with questionable motives," Clinton's deputy communications director Christina Reynolds wrote in a Medium post on Wednesday. "That's just not the campaign, the staff or the candidate I was in the trenches with for 18 months."

Jessie Lehrich, Clinton's foreign policy spokesman, disputed depictions of internal tensions after the election. On Wednesday, he tweeted that "the aftermath of the election was a hug-fest" at Clinton headquarters.

But Parnes said: "We stand by our reporting." She said they talked to more than 100 sources, most of which were inside the campaign and many in the team's top ranks.

Besides, Parnes said, they didn't portray Clinton as a "sinister" person.

"There are actually very sympathetic moments... It's not like we're bashing someone over the head with how bad Hillary Clinton is," Parnes said.

Allen agreed that there are moments in the book that will likely be painful for Democrats to read, but there are also pieces that document bright moments, like when they won a string of states in the primaries.

"There’s a little bit of everything in this book because it's really just documenting what happened," Allen said.

As for what's next for Clinton, Parnes said she expects Americans will see more of her, though she'll likely stay out of the epicenter.

Allen said she may be instrumental in Democratic races going forward, especially for those seeking her most fervent admirers.

"There are some unique aspects of her candidacy and what she means historically that you could see some candidates wanting to go toward her and get an endorsement," Allen said. "I think there are a lot of women who feel like this election exposed misogyny in the electorate. I think there are a lot of women who felt like she was robbed."

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President Trump at 100 Days: No honeymoon, but no regrets (POLL)

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- There's no honeymoon for Donald Trump in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, but also no regrets: He approaches his 100th day in office with the lowest approval rating at this point of any president in polls since 1945 -- yet 96 percent of those who supported him in November say they'd do it again today.

His challenges are considerable. Majorities say Trump lacks the judgment and the temperament it takes to serve effectively. Six in 10 doubt his honesty and trustworthiness, see him as out of touch and don't think he understands the problems of people like them. Fifty-six percent say he hasn't accomplished much in his first 100 days. And 55 percent say he doesn't follow a consistent set of principles in setting policy (though fewer see this as a problem, 48 percent).

All told, 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump's performance as president, while 53 percent disapprove. That compares to an average of 69-19 percent for past presidents at or near 100 days in office -– for example, 69-26 percent for Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.

Still, the national survey also finds some brighter spots for the president –- chiefly in pushing for jobs and in foreign policy –- as well as deep popularity problems for the opposition party. Sixty-seven percent say the Democratic Party is out of touch with the concerns of most Americans, even more than say the same about Trump, and similar to the Republican Party (62 percent). That's a steeply negative turn for the Democrats, 19 percentage points more critical than when last asked three years ago, including especially steep losses in their own base.

Trump's better grades include broad 73 percent approval of his pressuring companies to keep jobs in the United States –- even most Democrats, liberals and nonwhites approve, three groups that are broadly critical of Trump more generally. And more than half, 53 percent, see him as a strong leader, although that compares with 77 percent for Obama at this stage.

On one specific issue, a plurality, 46 percent, says he's handling the situation with North Korea "about right," as opposed to being too aggressive (37 percent) or too cautious (just 7 percent). Similarly, a recent ABC/Post poll found 51 percent support for Trump's missile strikes on Syria; together these results make his foreign policy a comparative bright spot. They're also a contrast with Obama, seen by 53 percent as too cautious in his foreign policy in fall 2014, as he dealt with Syria and Russian intervention in Ukraine.

As noted, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds no evidence of buyer's remorse among Trump supporters. Among those who report having voted for him in November, 96 percent today say it was the right thing to do; a mere 2 percent regret it. And if a rerun of the election were held today, the poll indicates even the possibility of a Trump victory in the popular vote among 2016 voters.

In two break-even results, Americans divide, 44-41 percent, on whether Trump is keeping most of his campaign promises, and likewise divide, 35-35 percent, on whether he's doing a better or worse job than they expected. Views turn negative, as noted, on how much Trump has accomplished in his first three months. Forty-two percent say a great deal or good amount, but 56 percent say not much or nothing.

Again, Obama scored far better on all three of these measures at his 100th day, 60-26 percent on keeping his promises, 54-18 percent on performing better vs. worse than expected and 63-36 percent on his accomplishments.

There are difficulties for Trump in other results, as well. Just 37 percent approve of the major changes in federal spending he's proposed (50 percent disapprove) and only 34 percent approve of his having given his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, major positions in his administration (61 percent disapprove). (There are only three groups in which more than half approve of these appointments –- Republicans, 69 percent; evangelical white Protestants, 56 percent; and conservatives, 51 percent.) And rejecting Trump's criticisms, the public by 58-36 percent says the federal courts that have blocked his immigration orders are "acting rightly as a check on the president's powers" rather than wrongly interfering with them.

The president does better on another item on which he's been criticized in some quarters –- spending substantial time at commercial properties he owns, chiefly his Mar-a-Lago resort. Forty-three percent see this as a conflict of interest because it promotes those properties, but 54 percent say it's not a conflict because he has the right to go where he wants.

The 100-day point has been used as a benchmark since Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, but, like any such time stamp, it has questionable predictive value. As noted, it usually marks the height of a president's honeymoon in public opinion. It's also situational. In available data, the highest rating at or near 100 days was Harry Truman's 87 percent in a Gallup poll when he took office after the Roosevelt's death; yet Truman's career average was 47 percent approval. The lowest at 100 days was Gerald Ford's 48 percent after he succeeded (and pardoned) Richard Nixon, yet Ford's career average was about the same as Truman's. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush had 63 and 71 percent 100-day approval ratings –- yet neither won a second term.

Current politics, moreover, are marked by especially sharp partisanship, a central reason for Trump's comparatively poor rating. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approve of his job performance; just 12 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents agree. Obama at 100 days did better in his base, with 93 percent approval from leaned Democrats, but also had 40 percent from leaned Republicans.

As mentioned, Trump's challenges don't mean the opposition is in good shape. In March 2014, 48 percent of Americans said the Democratic Party was out of touch with the concerns of most people. Today 67 percent say so. And the biggest change has occurred chiefly among the party's own typical loyalists, with "out of touch" ratings up 33 points among liberals, 30 points among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and 26 points among moderates and nonwhites alike.

Vote again?

Among Americans who say they voted in the 2016 election, 46 percent say they voted for Hillary Clinton and 43 percent for Trump, very close to the 2-point margin in the actual popular vote results. However, while Trump would retain almost all of his support if the election were held again today (96 percent), fewer of Clinton's supporters say they’d stick with her (85 percent), producing a 40-43 percent Clinton-Trump result in this hypothetical re-do among self-reported 2016 voters.

That's not because former Clinton supporters would now back Trump; only 2 percent of them say they'd do so, similar to the 1 percent of Trump voters who say they'd switch to Clinton. Instead, they're more apt to say they'd vote for a third-party candidate or wouldn’t vote.

In a cautionary note to her party, Clinton's 6-point drop in a hypothetical mulligan election relates to views of whether the Democratic Party is in touch with peoples' concerns. Although the sample sizes are small, those who say the party is out of touch are less likely to say they'd support Clinton again, compared with those who see it as in touch.

Still, there's no strong evidence that defectors primarily come from groups that favored Bernie Sanders in the primary. There are no broad differences by age, and liberals are 9 points more likely than moderates and conservatives to stick with Clinton. Similarly, nonwhites are 10 points more likely than whites to say they would not support Clinton again, with more than a third of them heading to the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson.

Approval groups

Trump's approval rating among groups differs in familiar patterns from the election. Fifty-four percent of whites approve of his job performance; just 19 percent of nonwhites (including 22 percent of Hispanics and 6 percent of blacks) agree. His approval rating is 15 points lower among the youngest adults compared with seniors. It's 67 percent among conservatives vs. 37 percent among moderates and 9 percent among liberals. And it's 73 percent among evangelical white Protestants, a GOP mainstay.

Trump's rating is 10 points higher among whites who lack a college degree than among those who have one. Indeed, again echoing the election, he reaches 65 percent approval among non-college white men, vs. 40 percent among college-educated white women.

The economys another factor; while it doesn’t guarantee presidential approval, a strong or improving economy at least makes it easier to achieve. Today 30 percent say the economy is improving, vs. 18 percent who say it’s getting worse, with a plurality, 49 percent, saying it’s staying the same. Among those who think it’s improving, 83 percent approve of Trump’s job performance, while among those who think it’s staying the same, just 29 percent approve, as do only 10 percent of those who say it’s getting worse.

Of course, the result likely is bi-directional – views of the economy color views of the president, but views of the president also influence views of the economy. Indeed, 62 percent of Republicans think the economy’s improving; just a quarter of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

 There are notable differences among groups on other questions as well. One is a large age effect on whether or not Trump is in touch with people’s concerns – 71 percent of under 30s say not, as do 65 percent of those age 30 to 39, declining to 52 percent – still a majority – among those 40+.

Additionally, 62 percent of Democrats say Trump is not keeping his promises, while 77 percent of Republicans say he is keeping them. (Independents split evenly.) As with views of the future economy, that’s an example of motivated reasoning – sharply different assessments of the same object, informed by partisan predispositions. Whatever changes in the Trump administration, this phenomenon – typical of all politics – likely won’t.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone April 17-20, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-24-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

See the full results here.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Government funding, health care top agenda as Congress returns before President Trump's 100th day

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Members of Congress will return to Washington next week to confront a government shutdown deadline and a White House eager to notch some legislative victories, especially on health care.

The most pressing business is government funding: The House and Senate have until midnight Friday to cut a trillion-dollar spending deal to prevent a partial government shutdown on President Trump's 100th day in office.

While bipartisan negotiations continue on Capitol Hill, Trump is driving a hard bargain, insisting on money to begin construction on a border wall and boost defense spending.

Democrats insist they won't support a downpayment on the Southwest border wall, and are pushing back against Trump's threat of stopping key federal subsidy payments to health insurers under Obamacare.

Sources close to negotiations expect Congress to pass a short-term funding measure -– anywhere between one and three weeks -- to give appropriators more time to finalize a larger spending deal to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.

Beyond keeping the government's lights on, Republicans, encouraged by the White House, are still hoping to revive the GOP health care bill that was pulled from the House floor roughly a month ago.

Moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-New Jersey, has floated a proposed amendment that would give states the ability to request to opt out of certain Obamacare regulations while making essential health benefits –- the requirement that all plans cover things like prescription drugs and mental health services -– the federal standard.

Members are waiting to review legislative text for the proposal, and a vote could come midweek after members return to Washington on Tuesday.

Despite pressure from the White House to put points on the board ahead of Trump's 100th day in office, it's not clear that the underlying political dynamics that sank the health care bill initially have changed, and that the amended version could garner 216 votes on the House floor.

In a conference call with members Saturday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said legislative language for the MacArthur amendment is being finalized, according to a GOP source on the call.

He made clear that there will be a vote only when it's clear the bill has enough support, and that votes will drive the timing, according to the source.

Additionally, Trump has said that starting "next week" he will be unveiling his tax reform package with "massive" tax cuts for all Americans.

"It really formally begins on Wednesday," he told reporters on Friday.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement that his committee is "ready to work" with the White House, although it's not clear what exactly will materialize next week.

The White House and Republicans also have their sights on the Dodd-Frank Act signed by President Obama following the 2008 financial crisis. The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing this week on a GOP replacement to the law.

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